Friday, June 24, 2011

Disaster Management Information System

Recently, there is a lot of attention on sensor data to be shared with folks all over the world, given the recent event in Japan (Nuclear + Tsunami). It led to unprecedented levels of sale and use of GM counters in Japan and elsewhere. People are sharing their sensor data with others through Pachube etc. Pachube is an internet website allowing people to stream data/information from a
device, building, environment or sensor and store, share & graph its data streams in real time.
Unfortunately, in the event of a calamity, the first casualty is the infrastructure (telephone, network service provider, power etc). In which case, how would you upload your data to such a website? This is where, a service/device such as SPOTConnect comes into picture through their satellite communicating modem which can be paired with sensors using bluetooth to upload data to any website. Unfortunately, this service is not available worldwide (India, Russia not covered).

However, we could use Ham radio satellites, to offer the same functionality. With Ham radio satellites, there might be issues of who all could use them (Hams would use them for sure, but who else?) but the good part is that they are usually launched gratis by respective space agencies. What we need to do is (a) build LEO satellites (b) suitable modems (c) use Pachube like network and such a system could be of great use in disaster information system/management system.

Instead of Ham satellites, one could also think of these CubeSats, which many Indian educational institutes are these days involved in, to offer the same functionality for non-profit applications such as the one described here.

I am looking for connecting with people/agencies/interested parties to collaborate on this project. I already have a Ham radio license and some experience building ham radio equipment which would be very handy for this project.

I believe that the National Disaster Management Authority would be very much interested in this project. If you are interested, drop me a mail...


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