Partners - details
Partners - details
ARTEC GROUP G.E.I.E. (Groupement Européen d'Intérêt Economique) is an European Economic Interest Group currently constituted by public and private organisations located in Belgium and Italy. The major goal of this economic group is to enforce the technical, marketing and commercial activities of the ARTEC GROUP members. In particular, due to different characteristics and geographic positions, these companies can be considered as complementary and able to undertake new IT investment and commercialisation of new products and services in Europe and at international level.
The Group is particularly active in the development and system integration of telematics applications and IT services in transport and multimedia areas. The duration of this association of companies is 50 years (end 2046).
The three companies that will contribute to the FOREMMS proposal are Rigel Engineering s.a. (Belgium), Rigel Engineering s.r.l. (Italy) and SITEL.
Rigel Engineering s.a. is an independent Belgian company, involved in the area of advanced computer software design, implementation, maintenance and services. All phases of the software development cycle are covered, from feasibility studies to the implementation and product maintenance. In particular Rigel Engineering s.a. is involved in the design of powerful advanced tools for 3D rendering. Customers are mainly the national and international organisations (ESA, NATO, EUROCONTROL, CEC) and their industrial and financial partners. In the civilian market, Rigel Engineering addresses two major sectors: (i) design and development of multimedia and telematics systems (ii) design and development of applications mostly for maritime and air transport.
Rigel Engineering, acting as co-ordinating contractor, has gained an important experience managing and co-ordinating industrial and R&D projects at European and national level (ESPRIT, TELEMATICS, VALUE, TIDE, EUREKA).
The know-how, acquired in the R & D activities, is especially exploited in the following three sectors: space, defence and advanced civilian applications (e.g. Command & control systems, multimedia and human computer interfaces/interaction, Internet application and security).
RIGEL Engineering s.r.l. is an independent Italian company operating in the area of system integration, internet applications and services, electronic commerce applications and systems for IPR protection, multimedia data base systems, speech technology (e.g. speech recognition, speech synthesis) and products for PC platforms and workstations. Topics that have been tackled by Rigel include networked multimedia systems, compression of images, transmission of images using normal and ISDN connections, tools for increasing flexibility in the information retrieval, tools for allowing multimedia information handling systems to manage important amounts of information without compromising their efficiency, and complex interfaces.
The company SITEL is a union of three main components: public and institutional organisations, a private IT company, and a transport operator. The major business objectives of SITEL include the analysis, design, develop and provide telematics services with high added value with a special attention to the real-time applications. As consequence, SITEL is the focal point among the institutions that regulate commercial activities, companies offering leading edge services- business to business model.
The user community is very well represented in SITEL and can ensure a user-centred approach. In fact the requirement of various applications can be defined directly by SITEL exploiting its user representative. SITEL has designed and co-ordinated the realisation of telematics communications network for the port of Livorno and is carrying out similar activities in other Italian Ports and in other different market segments.
The RTP is constituted of a fiber optic backbone that make use of ATM technology and of a complex network connecting all the port operators. This infrastructure includes automatic systems (image processing and pattern recognition), remote monitoring of special areas and territories, communications services (PSTN and mobile), electronic transactions services, information services on the operations and activities of the port, services of AVL (automatic vehicle location), and access to external communication networks (internet, X.25).
The Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA) is an impartial, nationwide, multi-diciplinary state research organisation. With it's personnel of 700, 150 000 ha of research forests, and its organisation of two research centres and eight research stations of which Joensuu is one, Metla is the biggest forest research organisation in Finland and one of the biggest in whole Europe.
Metla has done internationally known and appreciated research e.g. on forest resources, forest vitality, environmental effects of forestry practices and water and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems. Research forests, up to date laboratories and computing facilities enable data collecting, chemical analyses of forest vegetation, water and soil and data processing and reporting.
Department of Forest Ecology is a part of Forest Faculty Agricultural University of Cracow (AUC). The total number of personnel is 12. The department produced more than 100 technical reports, conference papers and articles during the period 1991-1999.
Main research areas
The department applies remote sensing, GIS and GPS techniques in forestry. The department specialises in methods and criteria for harmonised sampling, assessment, monitoring and analysis of the effects of air pollution on forests. The department is also concerned with nutrient cycling in forest ecosystem, deforestation of post-industrial wastelands, ecological bases of forest fertilisation, and the influence of acid rains on the soils and young trees.
- Application of Photogrammetry, GIS and GPS in the studies on the spatial deposition of heavy metals and sulfur in Las Wolski in Cracow, Poland.
- Design and implementation of GIS system for the Gorce National Park in Poland
- Monitoring of processes occurring in beech stands on the changing environmental conditions of the example of Ojcow National Park and Forest Experimental Station in Krynica - Integrated forest monitoring.
- Litter fall analysis in Ojcow National Park and Forest Experimental Station in Krynica - forest monitoring net.
- The counteracting the negative effects of heavy metals in forest stands by means of fertilization.
- Analysis of elements affecting water budget, chemistry and productivity of forest soils created on Istebna sandy soils - forest monitoring catchment.
- Nutrient cycling in forest stands.
The Institute for Agrometeorology and Environmental Analysis (CNR-IBIMET) was created to meet the national need for a reliable research base in agrometeorology and environmental analysis for agriculture sectors in order to supply the Regional Agrometeorological Service with knowledge.
Measurement of biological and physicals parameters requires precision instruments that are accurate as well as strong and inexpensive. For this purpose, many prototypes have been designed and built, from those dealing with solar radiation within crops and evapotranspiration measurements to data storage and transmission. The micro-meteorological analysis of crop behaviour forms the basis for developing techniques for monitoring crop stresses, using thermal infrared measurements of surface temperature or ultrasound emission measurements. Micro-meteorological research, the gathering and organisation of standard meteorological data, territorial data banks relating to pedology and morphology form the basis for territorial agro-climatic classifications which reveal climatic limits and resources. The combined knowledge about the physics of the environment and plant growth and development processes makes it possible to build models, which predict the yield of individual crops.
Global Environmental Change
Industrial activity and the transport sector are causing significant changes in the most important biogeochemical cycles on earth and are affecting some environmental features that have been always considered in equilibrium. Major effects of those variations are expected on the climatic system and on the sustainability of many terrestrial ecosystems. The research is aimed to understand, on one hand, how such variations will affect ecosystem functions, productivity and vulnerability to global change. On the other hand it tries to understand and quantify the role played by ecosystems in the regulation of fluxes of greenhouse gases between the biosphere and the atmosphere. In the first case direct effects of rising atmospheric CO2 are investigated with emphasis on ecosystem productivity effects and on the metabolism of both managed and unmanaged ecosystems. In the second case the most appropriate and advanced methodologies are used to measure net gas exchange between the vegetation and the atmosphere. Both these type of studies have an important application components and contribute substantially to support decisions that have to be taken at the national and international level in response to the agreements signed during the most recent world summit on the environment.
Research in this field aims at describing in detail the basic phenomena which affect crop yield by analysing solar radiation, nutritional and water levels in the major crops and in the whole agricultural ecosystem. For this purpose, measurements are carried out of water status and canopy temperature in the field or in controlled conditions, and new techniques are proposed. The analysis of plant growth and phenological development, in relation to physical factors, such as solar radiation, air temperature and humidity, and moisture levels in soil form the basis for developing both analytical and statistical simulation models of yields.
Land Information Systems
In programming of the use of resources in agriculture and forestry, in environmental impact assessment, it is necessary to collect and organise structured data so that the different kinds of information about the morphology, pedology, land use and climatology is linked together. This integrated description of the land permits the agricultural and environmental systems to be analysed and classified and for alternative solutions to be proposed in the light of economic and social objectives.
The impact of agricultural practices on the environment and the effects of industry and urbanisation on the agricultural ecosystem are nowadays of great importance. Diffusion models of pollutants in the atmosphere and of pesticides in soil and water enable scientists to evaluate how they spread and to assess the effects on agricultural yields and more generally on the environment. Maps of environmental risks and bio-indicators, which are the subjects of research, are two major methods for impact assessment. The effects of erosion on soil fertility and on the stability of slopes are also being studied.
The Laboratory of Space Technology at Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) is the largest remote sensing research unit in Finland. Many of the researchers are M.Sc./Ph.D. students. The total number of personnel is 30. The laboratory produced more than 300 technical reports, conference papers and articles during the period 1988-1999.
Main research areas
The main research activity is microwave remote sensing:
- Airborne and ground-based measurements of geophysical targets
- Development of inversion algorithms to interpret satellite data
- Use of satellite data for various applications
- Theoretical and empirical modelling of targets
- Development of microwave and millimeterwave radars and radiometers
- Development of ground truth instruments to support remote sensing
- Dielectric and extinction characteristics of geophysical media.
Remote sensing applications under study
- Forest (stem volume, tree type and other parameters)
- Snow (snow water equivalent, extent, monitoring of snow melt)
- Sea ice (ice type and extent)
- Water quality (chlorophyll-a)
- Microwave modelling of snow, forest, sea ice
- Stratospheric ozone (vertical distribution and short-term/long-term variation).
The most important application presently is forest; HUT has developed retrieval methods based on both microwave and optical data. The HUTSCAT sensor (see below) can measure the tree height and stem volume accurately.
Operation of Skyvan research aircraft
Since 1995, the Laboratory operates its own aircraft Skyvan. Both HUT sensors and those of other research institutes are flown aboard Skyvan. Additional features include differential GPS for precision navigation and localization, local area network, video camera, three areas for sensor accommodation and seats for eight researchers.
Sensor construction at HUT
HUTRAD: an airborne multifrequency dual-polarized microwave radiometer, including 6 fixed-looking receivers (6.8 to 94 GHz range) and one imaging receiver (93 GHz); the 36.5 GHz receiver is polarimetric
HUTSCAT: helicopter-borne 8-channel FM-CW ranging scatterometer; operating frequencies 5.4/9.8 GHz, 4 linear polarizations at each frequency, simultaneous measurements at all channels, range resolution 65 cm
MINISCAT: helicopter-borne 4-channel FM-CM ranging scatterometer (MINISCAT), 5.3 GHz, range resolution 32 cm
HUTSLAR: airborne side-looking radar (SLAR) that operates at 9.5 GHz
Ground-based ozone radiometer that operates 110 GHz., located at the Finnish Meteorological Institute's Observatory in Sodankylä, northern Finland.
Airborne 1.4 GHz synthetic aperture radiometer (under construction).
Ongoing and recent international research projects
- EU SNOWTOOLS (satellite snow hydrology methods)
- EU EUFORA (radar remote sensing)
- EU IMSI (New microwave data for ice monitoring)
- EU SALMON (lake water quality monitoring)
- EU HIGH-SCAN (new data for forest monitoring)
- ESA MIRAS (development of satellite interferometric microwave radiometer)
- ESA LANDATMO (retrieval of land parameters from microwave radiometer data)
- ESA ITOS (laser ice topography observation system)
- ESA EMAC'95 Ice and Snow Airborne Campaign
HUT has substantial experience in using optical data jointly with microwave data, especially in forest applications. The following data sets are presently used:
Satellite radar: ERS SAR, ERS Windscat, JERS SAR, RADARSAT
Airborne radar: HUTSCAT, EMISAR, ESAR, HUTSLAR
Satellite and airborne microwave radiometer: SSM/I, HUTRAD
Satellite optical: Landsat TM, SPOT
Airborne optical: AISA, aerial photos.
The Computer Architecture and Operating Systems group of the Computer Science department of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (SPAIN) is a group of 23 people. It includes 2 full professors, 7 associate professors, 3 associate professors for technical studies, 9 assistant professors and 2 research assistants.
During last 10 years the group has been working on several aspects of parallel and distributed computing. Among these lines we could mention the following ones:
- Parallel programming environments
- Performance analysis of parallel applications
- Parallel and distributed simulation
- Development of parallel/distributed applications
This work was supported by several national projects and some INCO-COPERNICUS projects from UE including:
"Software Engineering for Parallel Processing-SEPP". Copernicus Project: C193-0251 (1994-97).
"High Performance Computing Tools for Industry - HPCTI". Copernicus Project: CP-93-5383 (1994-96).
"Stimulation of European Industry Through High Performance Computing - SEIHPC". Copernicus Project: COP-94-00774 (1996-98).
During last 3 years the group has been working on simulation of forest fire propagation as one of the real application that has been parallelised. This application involves several research fields (physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, mathematics). The models required to predict the forest fire propagation are very complex due to the high number of factors involved and the hard equations. Moreover, when time constrains to predict the fire propagation in advance are considered, the computing capabilities required to accomplish the objectives must be very high. For all this reason, this application appears as a target application for high performance computing (parallel and/or distributed computing).
The work carried out during these years by the group has involved the design and development of sequential and parallel versions of forest fire propagation models.
From August 1, 2002 the Ergonomics and Safety Research Institute (ESRI) will have been formed from the Research Institute for Consumer Ergonomics (RICE) and HUSAT Research Institute.
At the same time they will co-locate in the Holywell Building, formerly occupied by RICE, adjacent to Loughborough University's campus. In due course the associated company ICE Ergonomics Ltd will also be renamed to echo this broader base and will be known as Ergonomics and Safety Research Limited (ESRLtd). This will mean that clients and sponsors of the work previously carried out by the separate organisations will now have access to a much wider range of experts across the broad spectrum of ergonomics and human factors. The expertise in ICT and advanced technology traditionally available from HUSAT will be complemented by the physical ergonomics, health and safety and vehicle and road safety that is the hallmark of RICE and ICE Ergonomics.
ESRI will maintain its association with the wider base of ergonomists in Loughborough University by being part of the Research School in Ergonomics and Human Factors. It will have three centres carrying out pure and applied research, consultancy, teaching and training.
Human Focused Design Centre: The products and services (including the built environment) we all use have to be 'fit for purpose', usable and safe for their customers and users. Increasingly users may include elderly, sick and disabled people. The call for 'inclusive design' so that all citizens have equal opportunity to benefit from products and services, is now very strong and is leading to many research opportunities. Additionally, the new technologies continue to provide opportunities for work and leisure as we move towards a more 'virtual society'. They also reveal a wide variety of human factors challenges if people are to use these technologies effectively and safely. The Head of the Centre is David Hitchcock.
Transport Technology Ergonomics Centre: Within the broad range of transport (including road, rail, sea and air) there are a wide range of human concerns, which include not only safety, but effectiveness, control, comfort and increasingly the ability to sustain communications in a mobile world. We have complementary capabilities in this field in HUSAT and in ICE and have brought them together in this new Centre to focus on emerging ergonomic issues in transport. The Head of the Centre is John Richardson.
Vehicle Safety Research Centre: This Centre has a very substantial track record in the study of accidents and the examination of implications for vehicle design. This is developing into a broader concern for the design, for example, of highways for the reduction of accidents. In a world in which road transport policies are becoming a major preoccupation we are confident there will be substantial funding available to sustain the already large and experienced team we have in place. The Head of the Centre is Pete Thomas.
The merged Institute has over 55 members of staff making it one of the largest sources of independent ergonomics and human factors expertise available in the UK. Past and future clients and sponsors can be assured that the staff with whom they are familiar are still around to carry out the work, but so are many new and equally talented people.
Professor Ken Eason is the Director of the Research School with Magdalen Galley taking the role of Operations Director and responsibility for the running of ESRI.
(Comelta unfortunately ceased to exist towards the end of the project and we include the information below just to indicate the role Comelta played during the FOREMMS project)
Comelta is a Spanish owned company. Its activities are divided in two areas, computing (manufacturing and sale of PC compatible computers, point of sale terminals and computer terminals, etc.) and R+D applied (development of products and manufacture of electrical boards and systems, computing and telecommunication equipment). Comelta has approximately 140 employees.
One of the products, the SERVI-TICKET, brand name for the transport ticket vending machine, has been the first machine on the market ready to be used by both the blind and wheelchair users, complying with new accessibility rules. It is based on multimedia technology. Likewise, other Information and Self-service Terminals have been developed for various applications, such as hotel reservations, municipal information and tax payment, sport facility reservations, Internet kiosks, banking services, etc.
One of the areas of design at the applied electronics division is around GPS terminals for fleet control, medical and security applications. The company has been for many years the distributor in Spain of ROCKWELL GPS receivers and actually is the distributor of FURUNO (Japan) GPS receivers. Based on these receivers the company has developed different terminals for applications mainly on fleet control and security functions. One of these products known as MOVILCAP has been installed in a fleet of the electricity company UNION FENOSA. Actually other designs using GPS for medical applications are in the way.
Since 1988 Comelta has participated in national and international innovation aid programs, in various projects which, on certain occasions, have been backed by the C.D.T.I.. For example, the GAME plan (Spanish Microelectronic Activating Group), a special microelectronics action within the ESPRIT program (diffusion of specific application ASIC integrated circuits, through a European Commission Information Society D-G and Secretary General of the R+D Plan initiative) or in international actions within the EUREKA, RACE, ESPRIT, programs, etc.
The last role in an international program was within the SOFISM project (Software architecture for ISDN Services and Multimedia applications) within the TEN-ISDN (EURO-ISDN) initiative, dedicated to the promotion of services and facilities of the new European ISDN network. Comelta participated as a user with ergonomic and technological - economic evaluation of the use of video conferencing systems with SEMA Group (Spain and England), CCS (Belgium) and TELES GmbH (Germany).
In this project COMELTA installed ISDN lines in its offices in Cerdanyola, Madrid and Lisbon (Portugal) and evaluated the camera systems, digital boards and videoconferencing software, for a period of almost a year.
In the future, the company intends to continue to participate in national and European projects, in those areas in which they coincide with strategic plans for product development and where our R+D working groups can contribute and gain from experience for the future development of products or processes.