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By GCN Staff

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Earthquake rescuer

Video streaming to be part of public safety toolkit?

Video streaming, in the form of movies-on-demand services, has already become part of the consumer tech repertoire. But it is a tech convenience not always available in settings where it might mean the difference between life and death, such as when public safety responses are launched in mountains or caves without fixed networks.

Rescue workers have the means today to communicate via mobile phones with each other over ad hoc networks in remote locations. But these devices and networks often are not robust enough to support transmitting video, which can be a critical tool in emergency response.

Thomas Plagemann, a professor at the University of Olso in Norway, is working to enhance so-called Delay Tolerant Streaming Services (DTSS) to make that happen, according to a report in Science Daily.

"We are concentrating on transmitting multimedia data over mobile ad hoc networks with an eye to use in emergency and rescue operations in areas with no permanent data infrastructure,” he told the news service.

The group is creating new middleware techniques enabling programmers to run software development across multiple layers of the network stack at the same time.

The technique, called cross-layer optimization, results in a more robust network to handle the demands of video on ad hoc remote networks. It is one of several improvements being made in the resilience of public safety networks in the last several years. 

After the London terrorist bombings in 2007, for instance, a team from Kingston University designed a tool to let rescue workers communicate without risking delays or jamming in having to through centralized mobile access points, according to Science Daily.

Posted by GCN Staff on Feb 06, 2013 at 11:24 AM


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