SORTIE - Sensor systems for localization of buried persons in collapsed buildings - structural analysis of the debris field

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil Norbert Gebbeken, Excellent Emeritus of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, has successfully applied to the BMBF for the project "Sensor Systems for the Localization of Buried Persons in Collapsed Buildings (SORTIE) - Subproject: Structural analysis of the debris field".

The primary research objectives of SORTIE are improved detection and faster rescue of buried persons as well as increased safety for rescue forces.

In the sub-project "Structural analysis of the debris field", the aim is to use new digital methods to better spatially record the structural behavior of the debris field, including during its clearance, and to record the temporally changing behavior in real time (4D analysis). Until now, the stability of the debris field is usually estimated by non-full-time expert consultants based on guidelines (THW, fire department). This always leaves large uncertainties.

Furthermore, assessments are mostly subjective, depending on the training and experience of the construction consultant. Up to now, classical surveying tools have been used, which allow only limited data collection from the ground. These deficits are to be eliminated with the help of the new technologies. Their sensors and measuring devices are adapted to UAS. This will ensure optimal data generation. The use of 3D scanners, among others, leads to a significant improvement of the state of the art and is an essential element of the new system. The seamless combination of multi-sensor systems and intelligent UAS will enable the emergency services to quickly grasp the disaster situation in order to initiate the rescue process without delay.

The approach of the requested subproject in SORTIE is characterized by the following features: A UAS will sense the debris pile in three dimensions, eventually move autonomously within it using artificial intelligence algorithms, search for buried victims, and collect data for a spatial model. 3D scans are used to digitally model the rubble pile (digital twin). From this, mechanical properties and their change over time of the collapsed infrastructure are derived. Cavities with buried people can be detected and further collapse hazards can be identified.

The main result of the sub-project "Structural analysis of the debris field" is the provision of data on the structural behavior of the debris field in real time, which is relevant for the rescue of buried victims and for the protection of rescue forces.

Funding by: BMBF