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Design and Implementation of Lifeline Emergency Ad Hoc Network

There are real cases where mobile phones have been contributed for successful rescues in recent catastrophic disasters. Examples of such cases have been reported in history.

  1. http://mashable.com/2010/01/20/haiti-iphone-survivor/#mKSyzKKquiqy
  2. http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2011-10-24/5-earthquake-survivors-saved-rubble-turkey
  3. http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20110224-265107.html

However, Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN), including cellular networks could be disrupted during natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricane, tsunami, etc.

In such situations, mobile phone users may not be able make emergency calls since cellular signal is likely to be unavailable due to the destruction of land-based network infrastructures. Although we cannot assume that all people trapped under debris will have access to their mobile phones, it is possible that some of them may still have access to their mobile phones when they are trapped under the debris or when they are waiting to be rescued.

This paper proposes a system for automatically forming ad hoc networks using mobile phones and battery-powered wireless routers for emergency situations. The system also provides functions to send emergency messages and identify the location of victims based on the network topology information.

The author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication can be downloaded from http://eric.lostcity-studio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Saving-Lives:Design-and-Implementation-of-Lifeline-Emergency-Ad-Hoc-Network.pdf.
Se-Hang Cheong, Yain-Whar Si, Leong-Hou U. “Saving Lives: Design and Implementation of Lifeline Emergency Ad Hoc Network”, International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, Accepted and to appear.

Lifeline: Emergency Ad Hoc Network

Lifeline is a group of systems designed for mobile phones and battery powered wireless routers for forming emergency Ad hoc networks.

Devices installed with Lifeline program can automatically form Ad hoc networks when cellular signal is unavailable or disrupted during natural disasters. For instance, large scale earthquakes can cause extensive damages to land-based telecommunication infrastructures. In such circumstances, mobile phones installed with Lifeline program can be used to send emergency messages by the victims who are trapped under collapsed buildings. In addition, Lifeline also provides a function for the rescuers to estimate the positions of the victims based on network propagation techniques. Lifeline also has the ability to recover from partial crash of network and nodes lost.

The details and implementation are described in this paper: Se-Hang Cheong, Kai-Ip Lee, and Yain-Whar Si. "Lifeline: emergency ad hoc network." In Computational Intelligence and Security (CIS), 2011 Seventh International Conference on, pp. 283-289. IEEE, 2011.

The author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication can be downloaded from http://eric.lostcity-studio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/lifeline.pdf.

Ad hoc network for disaster scenarios

Constructing an emergency network based on portable devices that forward emergency messages to the emergency stations or rescue teams could be helpful in disaster scenarios. No central server is needed because portable devices are self-organized in the ad hoc network.

The basic idea to build such emergency network is shown as follows:

  1. Compile the source code of OLSR (Optimized Link State Routing Protocol) and install them into the Android Operating System and wireless routers.
  2. Each portable device is designed to store the neighbor’s information so as to allow recovery from partial crash.
  3. Through the integration of OLSR with the Android, messages are allowed to be forwarded in the emergency network by the portable devices.
  1. https://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Mesh_Networking_with_OLSR
  2. http://olsrdroid.blogspot.com