T1-4 - Sedma Nacionalna Konferencija so Me|unarodno U~estvo...

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ON THE COMMUNICATION ISSUES IN EMERGENCY NETWORKS Zoran Utkovski 1 , Liljana Gavrilovska 1 1 Ss. Cyril and Methodius University-Skopje, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Karpos II bb, P. Box. 574, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia; {utkovski, liljana}@etf.ukim.edu.mk Abstract – The necessity of establishing rapidly deployable public safety systems has significantly arrised in the last years. Having a reliable communication infrastructure in an emergency situation is shown to be crucial for the alert and rescue activities. The specific conditions existing in the area hit by the disaster make the communication particularly difficult and challenging. This paper provides a survey of the recent research activities in the field of emergency communications and concentrates on the key problems arising in emergency communication networks. The recognition of these challenges and the definition of the specific communication requirements in the emergency networks will contribute to the standardization activities in the public safety domain. Keywords – emergency networks, public safety systems, energy-efficiency, routing, QoS. 1. INTRODUCTION The recent large-scale emergencies like the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia, the therrorist attacs in Madrid and USA, the earthquakes in Iran and Turkey and other similar events have increased the awareness of the neccesssity of establishing efficient and reliable public safety systems on local and global level. Large-scale emergencies require rapid regain of control to save lives and prevent further escalation. Investigations into disasters show the critical importance of optimum communication in the minimisation of the human toll. The performance and reliability of the present public communication networks are shown to be inadequate under critically overloaded conditions triggered by large-scale emergencies. In emergency scenarios effective coordination of emergency services should relie on timely collection, distribution and processing of critical data from the emergency field. Present communication systems for emergency service are based on traditional technologies such as APCO’s [1] Project 25 [2], TETRA [3] and TETRAPOL [4] and assume specific infrastructure. With the recent advances in ad hoc networks and with the introduction of low-power sensors cappable of communication and signal processing, rapid deployment of self-organized emergency networks in the vicinity of the disaster area becomes possible. Although having common characteristics with ad hoc networks, these emergency networks have additional, specific features. Identifying the problems imposed on the communication in these networks and on the integration with the existing public network infrastructure is the first step towards the establishment of the future emergency systems.
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