Public Warning System (PWS)

A multi-platform warning system constitutes the core of the PWS project. Photo: Paneda AS

As part of the project "Public Warning System", the enterprise Paneda AS will research, develop and test a new and complete future population warning and evacuation system based on the digital radio broadcasting network - DAB. The system will alert and evacuate members of the public at critical incidents in a defined area and regardless of nationality. The warning will be delivered via audio, image, text, video, sirens, roadblocks, start/stop of machines etc.

The need for such a system has been clearly demonstrated through many acts of terrorism, extreme weather events, and environmental disasters and the Norwegian authorities need to implement better warning systems. The EU also requires population warning and Norway is subject to the same requirements through the EEA Agreement, with a deadline of 21 June 2022.

Existing warning systems are hampered by several problems and limitations: The mobile network is often out of service during a crisis situation, e.g. during extreme weather events, power outages or as large crowds assemble and overload the network. Another problem is how to reach people who are not listening to the radio, who do not have a mobile phone with them, or are not in possession of a mobile phone.

In addition, there is a significant problem with great distances and a time lag before the emergency services arrive, and when it comes to immediate evacuation of large crowds. The police can be far from the incident and it often takes a long time before the police are in place. The project will address these needs and develop a population warning system that meets the necessary requirements. The project will develop new knowledge and software and hardware for products, services and processes, and thereby stimulate new business opportunities both nationally and internationally.

The project partners are Paneda DAB AS, Telenor, Fram Web AS, Tectal AS, and Western Norway Research Institute (WNRI). The research institute will assist in working with methods and implementation of verification and validation both with interviews and checks when testing the system in specific areas to get feedback from users on how the notification works and is perceived. Testing and evaluation are necessary to make improvements during the project. In addition, WNRI will contribute to the efforts to expand internationally, based on more than 20 years of international R&D project experience, and the function as a support environment in the EU network Sogn og Fjordane.

During 2020 research work related to multiplatform and management systems will start. Also, verification and testing activities will be prepared and various dissemination activities will be carried out.

Start date:
End date:
Project lead:
Senior Researcher and EU-Advisor
Project staff:
Senior Researcher
Senior Researcher
  • Foto

    When something happens, warning the public is a key objective. A new public warning system is due to be tested in a new, large R&D project. The system is developed by an enterprise in the region and aims for national as well as international markets.
    – This project ties together the three main areas of research at WNRI, says Anna Maria Urbaniak-Brekke, WNRI's coordinator.