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Ad-Hoc Networking for Emergency Response

Dr. Poellabauer
Principal Investigator:

Dr. Poellabauer, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Project Summary:

The goal of the project is to develop the software infrastructure needed to support the formation of communication networks during emergency and disaster scenarios, where existing communication infrastructure (e.g., cell towers) may be unavailable or overloaded. Specifically, the project focuses on the use of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) standard, which is widely available on phones, tablets, and many other devices. However, BLE is primarily used for single-hop communications only and more work is needed to turn it into a technology that can be used to form large ad-hoc communication networks, where data has to travel many hops between data producer and consumer. A basic single-hop prototype of this ad-hoc version of BLE, called BlueNet, has already been implemented for the Android operating system and the main activity will be to add multi-hop communication support to BlueNet, where multiple types of routing protocols for wireless emergency response networks will be added and then evaluated using various metrics (e.g., route stability, end-to-end-latencies, etc.). This will be the foundation of a publish/subscribe communication mechanism that allows nodes to efficiently communicate emergency health and safety data to multiple recipients. Specific programming skills are not required but desirable (e.g., Java, Python).

Student's Role:

The student will implement various state-of-the-art multi-hop (routing) protocols into the BlueNet framework, either on the Android or Raspberry Pi platform and design, set up, and execute various experiments to measure performance under various network conditions and environments. The project may also include work on a network simulator to compare the measurement results or to study behavior for larger-scale networks. While specific programming skills are not required, some programming experience in languages such as Java, Python, or web development tools is beneficial.