Demonstrations of Post-disaster Resilient Communications and Decision-Support Platform With UAVs, Ground Teams and Vehicles Using Delay-Tolerant Information Networks on Sub-GHz Frequencies

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Conference Proceeding

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We developed an approach to a resilient communications system for post-disaster situations that make use of cooperative missions involving multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), ground teams, and vehicle communication hubs (VHUB). In this paper, we will discuss how the communication system can operate even without relying on conventional communication networks such as the cellular network and Internet, which we assume may not be available in a post-disaster scenario, by using the concept of delay-tolerant networks (DTN). By using sub-GHz radio frequencies, we can also extend the range of transmission of responder nodes from several hundred meters to a few kilometers, allowing for the ground-to-ground and ground-to-sky communications. We will also discuss and demonstrate the components of the system and several applications on victim finding, rescue, and identification. Other key capabilities of the decision support node include mapping and visualization of disaster area and victim locations, information dissemination through ad-hoc broadcast messaging, and other disaster mobile kiosk applications. We envision the technical approach discussed in this paper to eventually be deployed in future post-disaster decision-support systems based on accurate situational awareness data. Maps, videos, and other post-disaster operational information will eventually be provided to partner organizations in an effective and timely manner.