Project GasLok

What:

GasLok is a project to develop a wireless gas safety monitor for tracking vital signs and position data of rescue forces during fire rescue operations indoor and outdoor. GasLok enables an autonomous, unsupervised operation with a permanent wireless datalink with control- / command teams. Next to precise localization data one can measure vital signs, breathability and toxicity.

Why:

Civilians and rescue forces may face various dangers during a fire. A common consequence of fires inside buildings is a strong smoke-development which threatens the safety of emergency services and civilians. GasLok offers many lifesaving functions to improve these particular situations. It ensures better orientation, monitoring a save way back, measurements of gas levels, navigation for moving on quicker, better coordination possibilities and an overall better aimed fire suppression to minimize economic loss.

How:

The GasLok project is a collaboration of four different groups: The Telocate GmbH, Sensotran, CEMIC and IMTEK (for more information on the individual group members click on the „partners“ menu button). Every company put their special expertise into the GasLok project. In the following text you can read about the different work-areas of each company.

Telocate GmbH:Telocate developed a self-calibration localization algorithm which is able to determine the positions of the emergency responder as well as the references simultaneously. This enables a quick system installation which is an essential benefit of a positioning system that also has to function in a heavily accessible environment. After the calibration the normal operating phase can take place – the tracking phase – during which the operators (emergency forces) can be located with high precision indoor and outdoor. Telocate was funded for this project by the BMWi under the funding code: ZF4626701JA8.

Sensotran:  Sensotran will provide the gas sensor technologies needed to monitor the breathability of theathmosphere in the emergency site.

On the one hand, there are gases (like O2, flammable, HCN and CO) that can be measured with existing commercial technologies. Sensotran will integrate these off-the-shelf components in a compact rugged form-factor suitable for the project.

On the other hand, there are other relevant gases (like benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein) for which there is no commercial sensor available. Sensotran will investigate on a new sensing principle which has revealed recently very promissing: colorimetric inks with high specificity in combination with integrated optical readout microchips. This research, will be subcontrated to CEMIC (Universitat de Barcelona), who has more than 10 year experience on this topic and suitable lab facilities. 

Sensotran will integrate all the sensing and localization techologies into a wearable device and a throw-in beacon.

CEMIC: The CEMIC technology offer covers the entire range of electronic and biomedical engineering and communication and information technologies, combining the study of new materials, technologies, structures, devices and algorithms to obtain new subsystems with more functionalities incorporated 

CEMIC structures its technological capabilities in the field of: 

• Modeling of passive components and functional blocks for electronic, RF and RFID applications 

• Development of sensors and biosensors 

• Development of biotechnology, bio-electronic systems, sensors “in-vivo” 

• Design of instrumentation systems and circuits and microsystems based on the integration of electronic and / or optoelectronic sensors and actuators with control and signal processing circuits 

• Design of ASICS 

• Intelligent sensing systems, DSS, AI, AuI 

• Characterization of advanced materials and devices 

• Communications systems, sensor networks, IOT 

• Development of firmware and software for specific applications 

IMTEK: ALU-IMTEKs main contribution to GasLok is the development of a miniaturized, low-cost sensing optical device for transcutaneous monitoring of CO2 as vital sign. In case of insufficient breathing of the rescue force, e.g. from sudden fainting, the CO2 level can quickly rise to more than twice the normal value, even higher in life-threatening cases. The measurement via the skin allows a fast and continuous assessment of the breathing and thus an additional safety for the rescue force to the movement sensors, which are often already in use. An optical sensor device can cover the required CO2 concentration range while having a small footprint at the same time. This sensor will be integrated into one device an O2, heart beat and a movement sensor (Telocate), allowing a fast alarm within the sensor network in the case of malbeing of the firefighter or danger. ALU-IMTEK is funded by the BMWi under the grant ZF4052413JA8.