SaaS: Software
as a Service

eConsulting:   web-based environmental consulting
austrian electronic network

Project Description

eConsulting offers an innovative on-line (web based) service for environmental planning and management.

A major objective is the support of EU environmental Directives in the domain of air quality (96/62/EEC and daughhter directives) and water (2000/60/EC). The system offers on-line services such as real-time nowcasts and forecasts of environmental quality, scenario analysis, the optimization of environmental management measures and strategies, and environmental and strategic impact assessment for the responsible competent authorities, government agencies, cities, and larger industrial enterprises.

Institutions responsible for environmental management and major emitters (problem and data owners) are offered on-line tools (for analysis, simulation, optimization and decision support). These are based on the integration of real-time monitoring sensor and networks, high-performance cluster computing (e.g., complex large -scle and high-resolution real-time 3D models, for stochastic and non-linear optimization, artificial intelligence). Closely related is the (geo)graphical display of environemntal information (monitoring data) on behalf of these institutions, as required by the individual Directives or 90/313/EEC, COMM/2000/400 (Freedom of access to information on the environment) as publicly accessible information systems.

The information and communication technology and computer equipment needed (including high performance cluster computing) can be shared by several users as an application services through broadband internet, world wide.

Distributed direct and interactive access to (shared yet customized) information services can be offered to the individual user institution: this includes state-of-the-art analytical tools and ntegrated scientific-technical consulting a high level of reliability, quality, and efficiency with a level of complexity and detail beyond the reach of any individual end user institution.

High bandwidth access to high-performance computing as well as on-line monitoring data from sensor networks in real-time can provide a new quality of environmental management information systems that go far beyond traditional static thematic portals. Examples of this advanced functionality are

  • stochastic prediction of ozone levels in and around urban conglomerates (the probability to reach or exceed thresholds such as the warning and alert levels), using 3D dynamic models driven by detailed, localized prognostic meteorological models based on down-scaled global forecasts (GFS);
  • screending level long-term impact assessment for new emission sources in support of permitting procedures (Alagenbewilligungsverfahren) as a possible eGovernment service.
In both examples, the emphasis is on the direct support for analysis, reporting, formats directly mandated and prescribed by EU Directives or any applicable environmental regulations. This offers the user a direct and immediate benefit for tasks within his responsibilities, but can also support paublich access and participation in environemtal planning, policy and decision making processes (public participation).
Project Objectives
  • Integration and further development of software components from international RTD projects (EUREKA E!1388 AIDAIR and E!3266 WEBAIR, EU funded FP5 and FP6 projects) into a set of compatible commercial on-line products and services with supporting utilities (CRM, performance monitoring, automatic QA/QM tools, error tracking, operator alerts, access control, billing); the objective is to offer broadband based on-line services with high availability and reliability, and fast interactive performance also for demanding computational tasks.
  • Implementation of the ICT infrastructure including high-performance cluster computing with remote monitoring and operator control to guarantee uninterrupted 7/24 operation including a dedicated (private, leased) 8 Mb ATM frame-relay Internet access.
  • Implemantation of selected demonstration and reference systems in in countries with a high growth and thus market potential (e.g., Central and Eastern Europe, Balkans, Mediterranean countries, Middle East and Gulf region, South-East Asia, selected African countries); partners/countries from EUREKA E!3266 WEBAIR are an obvious starting point.
  • Monitoring and documentation of a long-term test application with fully operational systems, development and analysis of performance metrics for availability, latency response and performance, reliability, bandwidth, .....
  • Supporting publication and dissemination activities.
eConsulting develops new products and services; this requires well developed operational examples and fully functional reference systems as demonstration cases to illustrate the potential and useability of the approach with realistic and obviously useful practical examples that clearly show benefit and added value compared to conventional solutions to prospective users.

The project Nr. 816022   eConsulting   is supported by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit)
through the Austrian Research Foundation FFG within the austrian electronic network (ATnet) programme.

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