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Open AccessArticle

Flying Real-Time Network to Coordinate Disaster Relief Activities in Urban Areas

1
Department of Electrical and Computers, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Bahía Blanca 8000, Argentina
2
Department of Computer Science, Universidade Federal do Bahía, Bahía 40110909, Brazil
3
Department of Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
4
Department of Computer Science, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8370456, Chile
5
Department of Computer Architecture, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Eléctrica - Universidad Nacional del Surt - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Alem 1253, Bahía Blanca 8000, Argentina.
§
These authors contributed equally to this work.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Santos, R.M.; Orozco, J.; Mosse, D.; Petrucci, V.; Ochoa, S.F.; Meseguer, R. Flying Real-Time Network for Disaster Assistance. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 7–10 November 2017; Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2017; pp. 591–602.
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051662
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
While there have been important advances within wireless communication technology, the provision of communication support during disaster relief activities remains an open issue. The literature in disaster research reports several major restrictions to conducting first response activities in urban areas, given the limitations of telephone networks and radio systems to provide digital communication in the field. In search-and-rescue operations, the communication requirements are increased, since the first responders need to rely on real-time and reliable communication to perform their activities and coordinate their efforts with other teams. Therefore, these limitations open the door to improvisation during disaster relief efforts. In this paper, we argue that flying ad-hoc networks can provide the communication support needed in these scenarios, and propose a new solution towards that goal. The proposal involves the use of flying witness units, implemented using drones, that act as communication gateways between first responders working at different locations of the affected area. The proposal is named the Flying Real-Time Network, and its feasibility to provide communication in a disaster scenario is shown by presenting both a real-time schedulability analysis of message delivery, as well as simulations of the communication support in a physical scenario inspired by a real incident. The obtained results were highly positive and consistent, therefore this proposal represents a step forward towards the solution of this open issue. View Full-Text
Keywords: Flying Real-Time Network; flying witness units; UAVs; real-time schedulability; communication support; disaster management Flying Real-Time Network; flying witness units; UAVs; real-time schedulability; communication support; disaster management
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Micheletto, M.; Petrucci, V.; Santos, R.; Orozco, J.; Mosse, D.; Ochoa, S.F.; Meseguer, R. Flying Real-Time Network to Coordinate Disaster Relief Activities in Urban Areas. Sensors 2018, 18, 1662.

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