Public Safety Networks

Public Safety Networks

Giuliana Iapichino, Daniel Câmara, Christian Bonnet, Fethi Filali
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-042-6.ch017
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Disaster can be defined as the onset of an extreme event causing profound damage or loss as perceived by the afflicted people. The networks built in order to detect and handle these events are called Public safety networks (PSNs). These networks have the fundamental role of providing communication and coordination for emergency operations. Many of the problems of the PSN field come from the heterogeneity of systems and agencies involved in the crisis site and from their mobility at the disaster site. The main aim of this book chapter is to provide a broad view of the PSN field, presenting the different emergency management phases, PSNs requirements, technologies and some of the future research directions for this field.
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Emergency Management Phases

Disasters can be of different types: natural disasters, as hurricanes, floods, drought, earthquakes and epidemics, or man-made disasters, as industrial and nuclear accidents, maritime accidents, terrorist attacks. In both cases, human lives are in danger and the telecommunication infrastructures are no longer operational or seriously affected.

Disaster management involves three main phases:

  • 1.

    Preparedness must be to some extent envisaged:

    • PSN must be operational when some disaster occurs.

    • To observe the Earth, to detect hazards at an early stage.

  • 2.

    Crisis from break-out (decision to respond) to immediate disaster aftermath, when lives can still be saved. Crisis is understood as the society’s response to an imminent disaster; it must be distinguished from the disaster itself.

  • 3.

    Return to normal situation must be envisaged with provisory networks.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Catastrophe: As an extreme event causing a profound damage or loss as perceived by the afflicted people.

Emergency Alert Systems: Systems design to alert the population in case of an eminent hazard.

Alert Phase: When the population needs to be informed about an eminent threat or the occurred disaster.

Mesh Network: A kind of spontaneous network where the nodes may have a limited mobility pattern.

Topology Management: Build and maintain a defined topology for the desired network.

Crisis Handling: Consists of the m eas ures taken by the authorities to deal with the disaster.

Public Safety Networks: The kind of networks deployed by authorities to handle crisis situations in the event of a catastrophe.

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