Traffic Management: Arial View of the Evangelischer Kirchentag

Some 120,000 people met for the closing event of the Evangelischer Kirchentag, a Protestant church gathering, on 28 May 2017 in Wittenberg. Traffic and safety management activities for this five-day large-scale event were supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Scientists engaged in the DLR VABENE++ project generated up-to-the-minute aerial images and analysed traffic flow near the site. They made use of a 4k camera system with real-time capabilities specifically developed by the scientists to monitor mass public events.

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Visitors from all over Germany came by bus, private car and public transport to the festival site on the outskirts of the city of Wittenberg. This amount of traffic on partly rural streets could not be adequately recorded with commercially available sensor systems, so the VABENE++-team used solely aerial data for their assessment. The DLR traffic experts were able to contribute their wide-ranging expertise—from data collection to processing to mobile provision of maps and information products on evolving situations. Users included the event organizers, the Johanniter first aid services, Germany's disaster aid organization Technisches Hilfswerk, and the administration authorities and police of the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

High above the action, the scientists on board DLR‘s BO 105 research helicopter were responsible for recording aerial data on the immediate situation in the entire area. With the help of their new 4k camera system they provided within seconds high resolution images that were directly transmitted via a microwave link to a mobile receiving station. On the ground the DLR experts then extracted the "trajectories" or lines of movement of the road vehicles. From this data they derived the level of service (LOS) that characterized the momentary traffic quality and tagged it with the colour signals known from traffic lights: green, yellow and red, for freely flowing, stop-and-go, and halted traffic.

The VABENE team also monitored with their technology the flow of people in the vicinity of the event site to support the organizer’s safety management concept. In advance, DLR’s German Remote Sensing Data Center also made available its ZKI-DE service for federal authorities by capturing with satellite images and aerial views recorded by the 4k camera system the structures on the site as well as nearby infrastructure. This made it possible for the emergency relief teams to more precisely coordinate their activities and frequently compare before-and-after situations. ZKI-DE is a cooperative activity of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and DLR to gather and analyze at short notice up-to-date geoinformation to enhance civil and public safety and security.