上网时间: 2013年01月04日? 作者:R. Colin Johnson? 我来评论 【字号: ? ?小】


Slideshow: 10 technologies to save our cities

R. Colin Johnson

The massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 devastated northeastern Japan and exacted an enormous human and financial toll. Among the disaster's many long-term effects were disruptions in essential infrastructure for food, water, and sanitation across large areas.

The recent mega-hurricane Sandy this year made a mess of many properties in the New York metropolitan area. Again the infrastructure suffered. And as of this day residents are rebuilding their lives.

Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Eastern United States taking down power lines, sending sea water gushing into substations, and knocking out connections to power plants. Millions of people lost power from both the grid and their secondary and tertiary backup systems. Evaluating how the power grid could better cope with disasters of this magnitude is a major priority.

After World Trade Center disaster in 2001, the rescue efforts were hampered by incompatible communications system between the police and fire departments on the scene.

While the communications compatibility is being rectified in bits and pieces in the areas struck by natural and man-made disasters, much needs to be addressed in bettering both communications and sensing technology in large cities’ infrastructures.

The following slideshow illustrates the enabling communications and sensor technologies that will ensure our city infrastructures are properly prepared and recovery operations run smoothly and efficiently, barring of course possible bureaucratic nightmares. --Nicolas Mokhoff

1) First Responder Network Authority:

Click on image to enlarge.

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) was authorized in 2012 to create the first nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network for first responders including police, firefighters, emergency medical service professionals and other public safety personnel. Today emergency personnel routinely use different frequencies to communicate, but FirstNet will use a distributed core network to integrate a diverse set of redundant channels to insure emergency communications work in a pinch.

2) Beyond GPS

Communications is not just for voice and data anymore, but also for location-based telemetry. In fact, the next-generation beyond GPS are the location-based service coming from Boeing, Glonass and NextNav (pictured). Emergency beacons around the perimeter of the disaster zone use the RF signals to triangulate the locations inside.

Tracking devices from TRX Systems and others add MEMS inertial sensors for dead reckoning that enable people and assets to be tracked with centimeter accuracy in locations where GPS, WiFi and even cellular networks don’t operate.

Click on image to enlarge.

3) Text-to-911

The first deployments of text-to-911 will begin in 2013, with nationwide availability slated for 2014 according to a Federal Communications Commission mandate.

With AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile pledging to support for the service, soon 90 percent of the nation's mobile consumers can text to 911, including all with hearing or speech disabilities or who just cannot get through on the phone.

Click on image to enlarge.


The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is the communication network used by many police, fire and emergency management agencies.

Virginia Tech’s iDAWG extends iPAWS into the disaster zone by establishing and Intelligent Deployable Augmented Wireless Gateway (iDAWG) in a temporary location.

Police, fire, ambulance, cell phone and citizen bands are united with an “edge-ware” application called Gridstream X that uses a cognitive radio technologies developed by Virginia Tech’s Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed.

Click on image to enlarge.

5) Long Endurance Multi Intelligence Vehicle

Providing “21 days of unblinking stare” is Northrop Grumman's Long Endurance Multi Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), a military technology for ISR (intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance) that will also provide an eye-in-the-sky and radio relay point for disasters.

Run from the Army's Universal Ground Control Station, the blimp can carry communications equipment payloads over 2,500 pounds and travel at almost 100 miles per hour.

Click on image to enlarge.

6) Tsunami-detecting buoys

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has deployed tsunami-detecting buoys in the Pacific which it monitors from its Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii and a similar center in Alaska.

Over 300 people have been killed by tsunamis in the Atlantic (compared to over 400 for the Pacific) prompting the NOAA to deploy additional buoys off the East and Gulf coasts and in the Caribbean Sea.

Alerts to East coast residents are sent out over the National Weather Service radio network that was designed to warn of tornadoes, hurricanes and tropical storms.

Click on image to enlarge.

7) Storm surge sensors

The U.S. Geological Survey deployed over 150 storm surge sensors across the East Coast from the Chesapeake Bay up the coast to Maine, to measure water levels during hurricane Sandy.

The data will be used to create detailed computer models, as well as to discern between wind and flood damage. All data can be accessed on the USGS Storm-Tide Mapper.

Click on image to enlarge.

8) Project ResQu

Project ResQu's unmanned aircraft employ smart technologies to enable them to survey damage and land safely in emergency situations as well as both sense and avoid other aircraft.

The project is a cooperative effort of Boeing Research & Technology-Australia, Boeing subsidiary Insitu Pacific, the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Click on image to enlarge.

9) Thor

Virginia Tech's Tactical Hazardous Operations Robot (Thor) will compete in the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Robotics Challenge to create robots for disaster-response operations.

The robots will aid victims of natural or man-made disasters, conduct evacuation operations, and perform complex tasks in dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environments.

Click on image to enlarge.

10) Disaster Alert app

The free Disaster Alert app from the Pacific Disaster Center gives real-time information on disasters and other active hazards on an interactive map (left) and in a list view (right).

World disaster alerts are issued for hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, floods, earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions.

Click on image to enlarge.

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