Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Widening the scope of emergency communications

27.02.2006


The development of a rapidly deployable interoperable communication system for future public safety is becoming increasingly important in today’s world. For any disaster relief operation requiring multinational efforts and rapid deployment a recently tested prototype communications network offers hope.



Fresh from a recent successful test-run of its system, the IST-funded project WIDENS has succeeded in developing a prototype network that could be quickly deployed in areas where there is no available communication infrastructure to support emergency or peacekeeping operations.

“There is a clear need for such a system,” remarks Dr Vania Conan, project coordinator for WIDENS. “In emergency and disaster relief applications, there is a demand for using video-images and cameras to help monitor the operations – for instance, infrared cameras mounted on the helmets of firefighters. Although more of an extreme case, rapid deployment of a communications infrastructure – after a large scale earthquake or flood for example – is not possible with present technology,” he says.


He noted that emergency crews currently use cellular-based digital communications that require a backbone network and provide limited throughput over long distances. The WIDENS network, by contrast, is composed of ‘terminodes’ – versatile software-defined radio communication nodes with mixed enhanced handset terminal and IP Router features for greater throughput.

“WIDENS complements existing systems with high bandwidth (2Mbit/s) over a dedicated emergency area of a few square kilometres,” he explains. “Higher throughput means the possibility to exchange large amounts of sensor data such as images for telemedicine applications, or to use video-surveillance. WIDENS is also straightforward to deploy in the field as there is no need to install any specific equipment such as aerials. The network sets up automatically.”

Versatility is one of the primary strengths of the WIDENS system. For instance, the network can be used as a standalone system to provide communications in remote regions while being connected to backbone network and/or command and control centres via satellite or airborne platforms. WIDENS is also designed to serve as a ‘healing overlay network’ for areas where there is a lack of network capacity to support emergency-related traffic or in areas where the communication infrastructure has been destroyed.

The recent field trial of the system in Sophia Antipolis, France, was a resounding success, according to Conan. “Our goal was to validate the WIDENS design on real equipment – in this case five Linux laptops with a PCMCIA card for the air interface,” he said. “Over 40 people attended the day-long demonstration, including public safety users and telecommunication industries. The users were very eager to see a new version of the system that they would be able to try out for themselves,” he adds.

The trial successfully demonstrated the viability of the system for multi-hop relaying for voice communication, as well as high throughput for live video surveillance, interconnection with the Internet, and fleet monitoring control room application and authentication of nodes to prevent IP spoofing.

Although WIDENS has broadly met its initial objectives, there remains some technical fine-tuning to allow the system to reach its full dynamic potential, says Conen. And while there is little doubt about the long-term commercial viability of the ad hoc network, some standardisation issues remain to be worked out first.

“The standardisation activities of systems such as WIDENS is carried out within project MESA, a transatlantic initiative for future public safety broadband communication systems. Commercial exploitation of WIDENS results will follow the MESA roadmap. MESA is currently defining an umbrella architecture for broadband public safety systems that will open new markets in the coming years,” he says.

The project will shortly upload its software developments on the OpenAirInterface.org website, enabling the open-source community to run the full stack and emulate the WIDENS network on standard Linux PCs.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/80738

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>