We received official word this week that our proposal for the ALERT (Architecture for the Emergency Re-tasking of Wireless Sensor Networks) project would be funded by the NSF for the next 3 years.
In the near future, systems of wireless sensor networks will be deployed in many locations for various monitoring activities. Our project focuses on taking advantage of the presence of these systems during emergencies. Under normal conditions, the sensor networks monitor the specific attributes for which they were deployed (e.g., air quality, temperature, pressure, noise levels). However, should an emergency occur, the sensors in the affected area would be re-tasked and integrated into an emergency response system. Authorized personnel could task the sensor networks with explicit missions in support of mitigating the emergency at hand. For example, they could assist first-responders by locating survivors, by identifying dangerous areas and by enhancing their overall situational awareness. Once the emergency had been addressed, the sensors would play an active role in ensuring a seamless return to normal conditions.
Networked sensor systems and information integration techniques can make monitoring and emergency response systems more effective, more accurate and more affordable than conventional systems. Our thesis is that a judicious re-tasking of independently-deployed sensor networks, working in tandem with an effective sensor capability integration scheme, will lead to improved emergency-response functions and a seamless return to normal conditions.
The technical merit and novelty of this project lies in the theoretical foundation of retasking independently-deployed sensor
networks, leading to a fundamental understanding of the design principles of
capability reallocation and sharing to best satisfy the needs of emergency
Details: Michele C. Weigle and Stephan Olariu, An Architecture for the Emergency Re-tasking of Wireless Sensor Networks (ALERT), National Science Foundation, CNS 1116238, Aug 2011 – Aug 2014, $358,549 to ODU (total: $440,000). (With Jason Hallstrom @ Clemson)