Copernicus, the EU’s Earth Observation programme, is contributing to the safety of football fans during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil, enabling EU Member States to be prepared for evacuation operations should an emergency occur during one of the matches.
The G-NEXT project, financed under the FP7 Space Research programme managed by DG Enterprise and Industry, is paving the way for the operationalisation of the Copernicus service in support of EU External Action.
G-NEXT has been tasked by one of its authorised users to provide support to the preparation of evacuation plans for undisclosed locations where important games will be played. This service is based on the interpretation of satellite imagery and pinpoints items such as: helicopter landing pads, gathering areas to be used in case of emergency, the fastest and safest routes to hospitals, etc.
Such products are developed by the EU Satellite Centre located in Torrejon near Madrid, in collaboration with project partners.
Due to the sensitivity of this activity, no further details can be provided at this time, until the competition is over.
Copernicus precursor projects have already produced similar evacuation plans for the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa (example below, click the picture to see a full size version) and the UEFA Euro 2012 championship in Poland.