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: Making Waves

Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.

Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanostructures taste the rainbow

29.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique unveils 'matrix' inside tissues and tumors

29.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways

29.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>