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Sensors (Basel). 2019 Mar 7;19(5). pii: E1150. doi: 10.3390/s19051150.

An Emergency Response System: Construction, Validation, and Experiments for Disaster Management in a Vehicular Environment.

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Department of Production Engineering, University of Bremen, 28539 Bremen, Germany.
BIBA-Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmbH, Hochschulring 20, 28359 Bremen, Germany.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, COMSATS University Islamabad, Wah Campus, Islamabad 45550, Pakistan.
Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany.
Faculty of Engineering, Capital University of Science and Technology Islamabad, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan .
BIBA-Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmbH, Hochschulring 20, 28359 Bremen, Germany.
Department of Production Engineering, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany.


Natural disasters and catastrophes not only cost the loss of human lives, but adversely affect the progress toward sustainable development of the country. As soon as disaster strikes, the first and foremost challenge for the concerned authorities is to make an expeditious response. Consequently, they need to be highly-organized, properly-trained, and sufficiently-equipped to effectively respond and limit the destructive effects of a disaster. In such circumstances, communication plays a vital role, whereby the consequences of tasks assigned to the workers for rescue and relief services may be streamlined by relaying necessary information among themselves. Moreover, most of the infrastructure is either severely damaged or completely destroyed in post-disaster scenarios; therefore, a Vehicular Ad Hoc Network (VANET) is used to carry out the rescue operation, as it does not require any pre-existing infrastructure. In this context, the current work proposes and validates an effective way to relay the crucial information through the development of an application and the deployment of an experimental TestBed in a vehicular environment. The TestBed may able to provide a way to design and validate the algorithms. It provides a number of vehicles with onboard units embedded with a credit-card-size microcomputer called Raspberry Pi and a Global Positioning System (GPS) module. Additionally, it dispatches one of the pre-defined codes of emergency messages based on the level of urgency through multiple hops to a central control room. Depending on the message code received from a client, the server takes appropriate action. Furthermore, the solution also provides a graphical interface that is easy to interpret and to understand at the control room to visualize the rescue operation on the fly.


Ad hoc networks; IEEE 802.11p; Raspberry Pi; TCP/IP architecture; VANET; disaster management; emergency response; information exchange; message dissemination; safety applications

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