New device to provide Internet, phone service in emergency

Sunday, 20 December 2009 - 3:38pm IST | Place: Washington, DC | Agency: ANI
The emergency router is capable enough to estimate the bandwidth available on a network and decide whether it should seek out another one.

Losing an Internet connection or phone service at the time of emergency could spell disaster. Thus, European researchers are trying to develop a technology that allows emergency responders to still use phone or Internet in the most chaotic situations.


They have come up with a router that allows a specially equipped command vehicle to find the best Internet access through any available wireless networks, or even satellite connections, reports Live Science.


The emergency router is capable enough to estimate the bandwidth available on a network and decide whether it should seek out another one.


It will also serve as the centre of a mobile local network for emergency responders to keep in contact with one another.


Emergency responders can boost their small local network by deploying battery-powered nodes on poles, fences or tripods.


The nodes form a wireless relay backbone that widens the local network's coverage, and allows workers to stay in communication across a larger area of any given disaster scene - whether in the rubble of destroyed buildings or in a field strewn with airplane wreckage.


The system, called DeHiGate, allows emergency workers to effectively set up their own private network in a crisis, one that can't be clogged by outside communications.


According to Vidar Karlsen, a manager at the Norwegian branch of the French electronics firm Thales, which is helping develop the system, each emergency worker would carry cell phones or other mobile equipment that allows them to talk with each other and the command vehicle, as well as transmit on-the-scene video of the disaster.


"They also have a GPS-receiver, and their position will pop up on a [digital] resource-area map in the command vehicle," Karlsen told TopTenREVIEWS.


If the command vehicle's router manages to find an Internet connection, it can also link up the command vehicle with an emergency headquarters and relay voice communications or video back to HQ.




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