Guaranteeing communication coverage in the event of disaster

Aug 12, 2013
Guaranteeing communication coverage in the event of disaster
Credit: Shutterstock

An EU-funded project that aims to develop a rapidly deployable wireless communication network for use in the aftermath of an emergency, disaster or unexpected event, was commended recently at an international event.

The ABSOLUTE ('Aerial Base Stations with Opportunistic Links for Unexpected & Temporary Events') project received the Best Paper Award at the 5th International Conference on Personal Satellite Services, underlining the potential of this field of research.

ABSOLUTE, which kicked off in October 2012, aims to design and validate a network capable of providing flexible, secure and resilient broadband services. Telecommunication infrastructures play a key role in recovery operations in the aftermath of an emergency. In most cases, however, terrestrial infrastructure cannot guarantee reliable services for citizens and rescue teams, while current public safety networks simply cannot provide sufficient capacity for broadband applications.

This is what ABSOLUTE seeks to address. By using rapidly deployable flexible aerial platforms with embedded 4G EnodeBs (hardware connected to the mobile phone network that communicates directly with mobile handsets), this industry-driven project aims to show that resilient communication networks can be quickly assembled to provide secure and reliable broadband service over areas affected by large-scale unexpected events, such as natural disasters.

Furthermore, the project will demonstrate that this technology presents a viable alternative to terrestrial communication infrastructure, which can be knocked out in the event of disaster. In addition to providing valuable assistance to emergency response units, the innovation has clear applications for major events such as the Olympic Games. ABSOLUTE will also help open the door to the development and further exploitation of new market opportunities in satellite communications.

The system works by integrating various radio technologies to provide heterogeneous communications over a specific area. ABSOLUTE will develop an LTE-A (a mobile communication standard) base station embedded in a low-altitude platform, which will enable broadband services to cover a large area. Portable land mobile base stations will also be deployed, and will be interoperable with conventional public safety networks. Advanced multi-service professional terminals will be developed for first responders, too.

ABSOLUTE, which is receiving EU funding totalling EUR 8 million and will run until September 2015, is being coordinated by Thales Communications & Security, France.

Explore further: Toward harmonised aircraft communication

More information: www.absolute-project.eu/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Toward harmonised aircraft communication

Aug 02, 2013

A key requirement for aircraft security is an efficient and modern communication network. The procedure carried out before each take-off requires input by multiple individuals at each stage. A fail in communication ...

REACTing to a crisis

Jul 02, 2013

Keeping all lines of communications open during a crisis is critical – and the Dublin Fire Brigade has shown how this can be done using satellite and hybrid technologies.

A radical re-invention for the Internet

Apr 24, 2013

Remember the days when downloading one song could take 30 minutes and over 28 hours to download a movie? This, of course, was before the introduction of broadband which revolutionised Internet use. Now, broadband ...

Recommended for you

Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked ...

Verizon boosts FiOS uploads to match downloads

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon is boosting the upload speeds of nearly all its FiOS connections to match the download speeds, vastly shortening the time it takes for subscribers to send videos and back up their files online.

The goTenna device pitch is No Service, No Problem

Jul 18, 2014

In the new age of Internet-based crowdfunding with special price offers, where startup teams try to push their product closer and closer to the gate of entry, goTenna's campaign offers a most attractive pitch. ...

Maths can make the internet 5-10 times faster

Jul 17, 2014

Mathematical equations can make Internet communication via computer, mobile phone or satellite many times faster and more secure than today. Results with software developed by researchers from Aalborg University ...

User comments : 0