Hastily Formed Networks (HFN) As an Enabler for the Emergency Response Community
Antillon, Oscar D.
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The effects of natural or manmade disasters in communications infrastructures are so severe that immediately after the disaster the emergency responders are unable to use them. In addition, some areas do not have any useful infrastructure at all. To bridge this gap in communications, a need exists for a reliable technology not dependent on the existing infrastructure. This thesis focuses on first identifying the problem of communications gaps during natural or manmade disasters and reviewing the impact and potential benefit of implementing a solution based on the Hastily Formed Networks (HFN) model. The research explores the different technological solutions to solve this problem by evaluating documentation for commercial off-the-shelf technologies (COTS). Additionally, the thesis reviews the results of field experimentation conducted to evaluate the performance of these technologies in the field. The ultimate goal is to introduce the HFN concept as an enabler for the Emergency Response Community (ERC). Throughout this research, the focus revolves around testing COTS technologies. The research provides emergency responders with the background knowledge to make decisions on how to best bridge the gap of lack of communications under austere environments, and therefore enable them to provide better response.
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