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There is a drone that acts in emergency situations

INESC TEC and Tekever are developing under the scope of the WISE project a wireless communication solution based on the use of drones as “flying” access points, which will have the ability to establish, re-establish and reinforce wireless communications in emergency situations.

By using drones and all the relevant intelligence gathered on them, it is possible to quickly provide broadband wireless communication in scenarios where there is no network coverage or where there is a need to reinforce the current network capacity. This can help overcome some of the limitations currently witnessed in the emergency communication networks.

“Currently, what’s available is the installation of temporary mobile stations in the form of trucks. This offers reduced flexibility of positioning, because trucks can only be parked in certain locations. In addition, the stations are mostly based on satellite connections, which have high costs and broadband limitations”, explains Rui Campos, the person is charge of the wireless networks area of the Centre for Telecommunications and Multimedia (CTM) of INESC TEC.

The solution under development will allow quickly establishing, re-establishing and reinforcing communications in emergency scenarios, such as fires or floods, for use by emergency teams on the field or by the population. It can also temporarily broaden the coverage to remote zones and allow access to broadband Internet in temporary events of considerable size, such as music festivals or protests.

This solution is being developed under the scope of WISE project, funded by FEDER through the Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Programme (COMPETE 2020) and through national funds from the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology. The project, which began in June 2016, will end in May 2019.

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The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.