IntroductionIn critical operations - whether emergency response, resource extraction, large industrial operations, or other crucial and time-sensitive work – precise, real-time information is key. All personnel involved must have the full operational picture to be able to perform their jobs safely with accuracy and efficiency.But not all critical ops environments are conducive to easily collecting, delivering and receiving information. Where combustible materials are present – such as in the case of gas leaks, HazMat spills or other emergencies involving combustible atmospheres – typical devices like cell phones or computers are themselves an explosion risk and are not a viable means of communication or data management.These environments have been excluded from a digital transformation due to their unique operating and regulatory conditions. These critical operations require advanced technologies that enable:
The first step in emergency response is to get a clear, thorough assessment of the situation by collecting as much data as possible. With better data, first responders can be better prepared and react appropriately.With the NexVu IoT Solution from Aegex Technologies, first responders can rapidly customize intrinsically safe (non-combustible) IoT sensors and place them within minutes in and around the disaster zone to collect a myriad of actionable data points about the situation. The NexVu sensors are customizable for thousands of configura- tions and a variety of data analytics and require only a few battery-powered and LTE-enabled components.So, in the case of the tunnel explosion, first responders can attach to the NexVu endpoint nodes of up to 40+ different sensors including methane, CO, CO2, O2, H2S, chlorine, temperature, pressure, vibration, and others to ensure a live conditional assessment. The “smart” sensors do not need prior programming – they are automatically recognized in the Cloud with pre-established hazard thresholds, so field personnel need only to focus on the crisis at handThe next step in emergency response is having a suitable device for receiving and disseminating data and conducting communications. The aegex10 Intrinsically Safe Tablet is purpose-built to perform these functions in hazardous environments.Data from NexVu IoT Sensors, for example, can be utilized by any device with secure access,but it can be safely viewed in potentially combustible environments on aegex10 Intrinsically Safe Tablets. These tablets are certified for the most explosive of environments - Class I, II, III Division 1 or ATEX/IECEx Zone 1 hazardous areas - so they will not cause an explosion in volatile situations where gases, dusts or other combustible materials are present. The tablets are also ruggedized to IP65 standards to withstand extreme temperatures, drops/impacts, and water or particle ingress. Their Windows 10 OS allows for user-friendly operation and immediate, secure synchronization with most IT systems for easy data management. The tablets connect to the Cloud via LTE or WiFi or can interact offline via Bluetooth and NFC communications.In the tunnel disaster, first responders and their command units can carry the lightweight aegex10 tablets by hand or in hands-free carrying cases directly into the disaster zone without fear of igniting the volatile atmosphere. The tablets enable teams to communicate in real time for up to 12 hours on a single charge, and they can be operated with or without a stylus and/or gloves in the extreme environment, where high temperatures, water, airborne particulates and other hazards are present. The Aegex tablets ensure all personnel are connected and able to securely communicate during the entire mission.VCORE’s fourDscape software is an interactive, augmented virtual representation of the real world that integrates digital information from existing data sources and shares that information with those who need it, where they need it, when they need it and how they need it. The flexible 3D visualization software platform integrates connected devices, bringing video, audio, sensors, devices, analytics and other intelligence into a Common Operating Environment (COE) that enables command staff and field operators to manage and protect critical assets.Equipped with Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication and Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) secure network technology, fourDscape enables:
In the tunnel emergency, Aegex intrinsically safe tablets and IoT sensors were the safest choices for responder teams facing potentially deadly, explosive conditions. They were able to capture the data they needed with NexVu IoT Sensors and display it on aegex10 tablets in the hands of all first responders and command units so they could be better prepared and connected when entering the hazardous conditions. With VCore’s fourDscape, all involved could see the location of teammates and other assets, receive alerts and other situational information, communicate with real-time communications apps, and better coordinate their efforts for timely and effective response. Verizon’s dedicated network solutions ensured that all communications among and within responder teams were secure and timely.With NexVu IoT Sensors collecting data, sending it to the Cloud and distributing it over the Verizon network on Aegex Intrinsically Safe Tablets, critical information can be quickly and easily shared and understood by all necessary parties. Integrating safe devices with smart applications and secure transmission enables first responders - or any mission-critical teams - to collaborate safely, securely and efficiently for improved performance and outcomes.The Safe Situational Awareness Solution will be demonstrated at Operation Convergent Response (#OCR2019), November 19-21, at the Guardian Centers in Perry, GA, US.
About Aegex: Aegex is a technology engineering and design company that provides intrinsically safe Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and mobile solutions for hazardous industries. Our globally certified intrinsically safe Windows 10 tablet, sensors and partner monitoring systems, form an IoT platform that manages big data to improve efficiency, safety and productivity in hazardous industrial environments in oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, utilities, public safety, defense and other industries with potentially explosive atmospheres.