A wireless system for reducing response time in urban search & rescue


Time is a critical factor in the Urban Search & Rescue operations immediately following natural and man-made disasters. Building on our collaboration with first responders we identify a set of areas for improving response times: victim detection in collapsed buildings, information storage and collection about buildings (collapsed or not), detection of first responder team separation and lost tools, and throughput and latency of data delivered to first responders. In this paper, we present the design (i.e., software/hardware architectures, and the guiding design principles), implementation and realistic evaluation of DistressNet, a system that targets the aforementioned areas for reducing the Urban Search & Rescue response time. DistressNet, built on COTS hardware and on open standards and protocols, pushes complexity that the very diverse Urban Search & Rescue scenarios pose, to user level applications (apps). Apps in DistressNet run on unmodified hardware ranging from smartphones, to motes and wireless routers. For the benefit of the research community, we also share some lessons learned during our experiences in the design, building and evaluation of DistressNet. © 2012 IEEE.

Publication Title

2012 IEEE 31st International Performance Computing and Communications Conference, IPCCC 2012