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Title: An architecture for mobile communications in hazardous situations and physical disasters
Author: Soulahakis, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0001 3472 3352
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2007
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Hazardous environmental conditions have always been a threat to human lives around the globe. Human society has seen some of the worst disasters due to accidents, physical phenomena or even cases that humans have created on purpose. The existing infrastructure can guarantee that there are hospitals, markets, mass transportation networks, sophisticated communications networks, and many more to cover all possible needs from a home user to an enterprise company. Unfortunately, the infrastructure has been proven unstable due to rapid environmental changes. The sophisticated networks, as well as the support buildings, can become useless in seconds in the event of a physical phenomenon such as an earthquake, a fire or a flood or even worse in the event of a well organized terrorist attack. The major problems identified are associated with inadequate capacity of the network, equipment vulnerable to physical phenomena and methodologies of disaster recovery that require time and work force to be applied. Modem telecommunication systems are designed in a cost effective way, to support as many users as they can, by using minimum equipment, but they cannot support users in hazardous environments. As a response to this situation we present the development of a novel architecture, which is based on an fast deployed network, infrastructure independent. The proposed network is capable of providing mobile subscribers with messaging and voice services in hazardous environments at the time of the event. Similar studies are based on infrastructure as they are in the need of extra hardware deployment. The novelty of our research is that we combine 802.11 and GSM in order to form a fast deployed network, infrastructure independent. The proposed architecture has two modes of operation: messages only or voice system. This solution benefits from the advantages of a deployed, infrastructure independent Ad Hoc network. This network is able to recover quickly from errors and can survive in hazardous dynamic environments. In addition we benefit from GSM technology using already implemented functions such as encoding/decoding for voice transmission. Combining those two technologies we can deploy a network which satisfies the challenges previously mentioned. While 802.11 handles connectivity and data transfers, GSM is responsible for bit error correction of voice calls and a number of other functions such as messaging and identification. The proposed architecture has been designed and simulated in order to evaluate the network. The evaluation has been separated in two phases. Messaging and voice capabilities of the network have been tested to investigate their performance. In the evaluation we check the factors affecting the network in a hazardous environment and we compare it to other approaches and similar networks. The results prove that the concept of messaging service is valid as the system can operate in hazardous environments. Voice capabilities of the system have been proven to work but further work is needed for maximising the performance and the reliability of the network. The new architecture can form the basis for the next generation emergency telecommunication services.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science ; QA76 Computer software