Innovation: ENEA designs alert system for critical infrastructures in the south


Guaranteeing safety of critical infrastructures of the South through static, seismic and environmental analysis and monitoring tools. This is the objective of the project RAFAEL, funded by the Ministry of University and Research with approximately 9 million euro, comprising ENEA as leader and other 18 partners including research bodies like INGV, universities and inter-university consortia (L'Aquila, Ferrara, Rome Biomedical Campus, CUEIM with the Universities of Salerno and Calabria, MEDISDIH Consortium with the Bari Polytechnic, CREO Consortium), major companies like Telecom, ANAS, E-Distribuzione, GORI Acqua, and innovative SMEs (Himet Srl, Ylichron Srl, G&A Engineering Srl, Geo-K Srl, NUVAP Srl, Tointech Srl). The outcomes of the project were presented at a conference attended bythe president of ENEA Gilberto Dialuce, and the Military Advisor to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Stefano Calvetti.

"The project RAFAEL main goal is creating a risk analysis and forecasting system to protect critical infrastructures and national strategic assets, which operates not only in the response phase of a disaster but also predicts it and identifies its characteristics", pointed out Vittorio Rosato, head of the ENEA Analyses and Protection of Critical Infrastructures Laboratory and scientific coordinator of the project.

"For us the safety of citizens and vital infrastructures is a priority - he added - to ensure the resilience of the services of the Public Administration, that is the ability to respond effectively to any disturbance that may reduce the functioning of any activity and restore, as quickly as possible, situations of balance capable of fulfilling citizens’needs ".

RAFAEL operates through the IT platform CIPCast (Critical Infrastructure Protection risk analysis and forecast), a system that provides decision support to essential service managers and the Public Administration, through real-time acquisition of different types of data for monitoring and risk assessment from extreme natural events and the subsequent assessment of their impact on services, the population and the industrial system. Thanks to the data produced by models or detected by monitoring stations located throughout the territory, the CIPCast system provides scenarios in the form of continuously updated time maps on the probability of events and their relative intensity.

A practical example of services provided to an end user (PA and stakeholders) is the risk analysis and operational forecasting of expected damage to infrastructures in the event of extreme natural events, such as heavy rains, landslides or floods. In addition, in case of an earthquake, the CIPCast system can assess the level of damage to built-up areas, critical structures and infrastructures a few minutes after having identified the characteristics of the earthquake.

Initially developed in Lazio, thanks to RAFAEL, CIPCast was tested in those areas of Southern Italy most exposed to natural or anthropogenic hazards, with the long-term goal of gradually extending its functionalities to the whole national territory.

"The RAFAEL project has helped integrate remote sensing data analysis into CIPCast, and allowed the development of bacteriological sensors and the integration of sensors in networks to access functional data in real time", explained Maurizio Pollino, researcher at the ENEA Laboratory for Analysis and Protection of Critical Infrastructures and coordinator of the RAFAEL activities at ENEA. "These functions, together with the others, will enable the CIPCast platform to create a first Operational Risk Forecasting system, conceived with a systemic vision that aims at making possible for all operators to collaborate for the protection of the entire "system of systems", made up of all national Critical Infrastructures ”, Pollino said.

"The results achieved by RAFAEL represent the concrete realization of a risk analysis and forecasting system as part of the initiative (European Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center), the Italian pivotal point in a network of integrated national Service Centers joined in a common strategy for the protection of critical infrastructures ” Rosato concluded.

For more information please contact:

Vittorio Rosato e Maurizio Pollino (ENEA) –Energy Technologies and Renewable Sources Department

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