Service Gap

In the wake of a natural disaster, communication is critical. To ensure that communication is possible for first responders, Associate Professor of Networks and Security at Birmingham City University Ron Austin is working to develop a customizable tool capable of filling any gaps, according to an article in

Looking to supplement or temporarily replace systems like telephone, GPS, or internet links, this prototype tool is created from Raspberry Pi computer development boards which can be chained together to assemble custom solutions based on immediate needs.

Among the tasks expected to be supported by this portable system are:

  • Reestablishing telephone communications
  • Providing GPS and Internet services
  • Monitoring environmental conditions
  • Maintaining links with emergency services
  • Providing light weight, mobile, and customizable communications equipment

Observes Austin, "We know it takes a long time to ship out heavy duty equipment to get the full scale systems back up and running, but we also know that that first 24-hour period is crucial in saving lives during disasters. If we can provide a system that gets these important services back up and running swiftly and simply then we would have a real opportunity at getting people the information they need which could save lives."

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