Disaster Relief

Communication systems during disaster relief operations are crucial. The wireless communication systems are expected to perform at their best in hostile conditions with limited resources since thousands of lives are at stake. Past tragedies like tsunami in 2011, Sept-11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina have highlighted the serious flaws in the existing communication systems.

Although the current implementation for communication during disaster relief is mostly based on Terrestrial Trunk Radio which uses narrowband techniques, Long Term Evolution (LTE) and satellite communication (GEO, LEO and MEO) is expected to be the primary technique for future implementations.

Finding an optimal way to share the spectrum is very important, since the resources available during disaster recovery would be limited but the demand would be very high.

Converging voice, data and video information and integrating all communications from the multimedia dispatch center will enable fast and effective real-time decision making.

Reliability of an emergency communication network is important as it would be required to operate in hostile environments. The messages exchanged could be classified information, hence security is crucial in these networks.
The scale and nature of each disaster will be different and emergency networks deployed will have to be easily reconfigurable and scalable to accommodate these requirements.