University of Arkansas (UA) researchers are developing a communications network designed to maintain power during natural disasters and other emergencies. Arkansas professor Nilanjan Banerjee says the network will be useful during storms such as the 2009 ice storm that left thousands of Northwest Arkansas homes without power. "We are building a mesh, which is a set of connected solar-powered nodes that can provide map-based information to users," Banerjee says.
To save battery power on phones during a power outage, only necessary information would be transmitted over the network. "One approach we're taking is that we do not transmit any more data than is needed," says Arkansas professor Pat Parkerson.
The researchers plan to install a small pilot network around Fayetteville this year. "The good thing about our system is you can basically use cell phones, which [people] are already familiar with to get that information," Banerjee says.
From KUAR News
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