Emergency Communications Network: Lifenet

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Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
Emergency Communications Network: Lifenet

Lifenet seems to be a sort of "client server"-style solution to the mass communications system going down in an emergency. Instead of a big cell base station or one big router for a network, you have a bunch of independent stations that are all peer-to-peer and therefore multiple routing options.

In the wake of major disasters, the failure of existing communications infrastructure and the subsequent lack of an effective communication solution results in increased risk, inefficiencies, damage and casualties. Current options such as satellite communication are expensive and have limited functionality. A robust communication solution should be affordable, easy-to-deploy, require low-to-zero infrastructure, consume little power and facilitate Internet access.

LifeNet is a WiFi-based data communication solution designed for post-disaster scenarios. It is open-source software and designed to run on consumer devices such as laptops, smart-phones and wireless routers. LifeNet is an ad hoc networking platform over which critical software applications including chat, voice messaging, MIS systems, etc. can be easily deployed. LifeNet can grow incrementally, is robust to node failures and enables Internet sharing. A novel multi-path ad-hoc routing protocol present at its core, enables LifeNet to achieve these features.

As we move from big box solutions to local ones, this sounds to me like an idea whose time has come - and individual nodes could be run via solar or biodiesel. 



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