Thesis on the use of the MONICA airship

English abstract:

The operational management and logistics of safety accidents and emergencies are serious challenges for any outdoor event organiser, in particular at a free-access event, where the number of people is estimated only in terms of location capacity. The European project “MONICA”, funded by the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 programme, aims to demonstrate how cities can use IoT technologies to manage large-scale cultural and sporting events by providing a physical and digital platform to support the organiser. The project involves several partners in scientific research for the creation of a multifunctional integrated platform, based on different, network-connected devices, fixed or wearable, on site or remote. In this thesis, we analysed and designed the aerodynamic behaviours, the operating procedures, the mechanical support and the risk analysis for the deployment of a tethered balloon in a complex monitoring system like the one proposed by MONICA, providing an elevated vantage point for video data collection and environmental sensors data recording. In detail, national rules, issued by ENAC and EASA, were analysed obtaining the high-level legislative requirements. The project proceeds with the planning of a ground station for handling and control of the air balloon and payloads. Basic characteristics emerged as a result of a study of the aerodynamic behaviour. Particular emphasis has been placed on the management of operational safety, which is a high-priority topic in aviation. The conclusion discusses the results of the experimental laboratory tests and demonstrations of validated functional cases during public events promoted by several European cities in MONICA. This thesis, considering the continuous progress in the IoT environment, is a first step in the realisation of an alternative monitoring system, which can be further tested in subsequent events to monitor and evaluate performance and which can be applied in different areas.