Interoperability


There are complexities in interconnecting agencies but more at the social layers than at the technology layers. The Simon Fraser University (SFU) Mobile Communications (MobComm) Truck was designed to patch a Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC), specifically the British Columbia Provincial REOC (termed as the PREOC) communicating through the Internet (TCP/IP) and public telephone lines (PSTN). The first-responder (e.g. forest firefighters) naturally communicate with Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio sets.
In order to establish the fact that the voice quality over currently available GSM networks are poor for converting the voice messages to text. These finds are from the Voice-enabled ICTs for Disaster Management project that field tested the use of an Interactive Voice Response system for extending emergency communications to the last-mile. Situational reports received from Community Emergency Response Team members, through their mobile phones, resulted in an Mean Opinion Score (MOS) of less than 4.0, on a scale of 1.0 – 5.
In our current emergency communication research aiming to enable interoperability between Freedom Fone and the Sahana Disaster Management System for disseminating Common Alerting Protocol messages and receiving Situational Reports over voice channels, we came a cross the situation where the 2N UMTS modem license had silently expired. During our silent-test this weekend, in preparation for a drill this week, we noticed that the license had abruptly expired. Unaware of the licensing dependency, the Sarvodaya Hazard Information Hub staff were scratching their heads trying to figure out what had happened. Even though the problem was identified, given that it is the weekend, getting any immediate support from the vendor is questionable. This project: FF4EDXL follows from LIRNEasia’s HazInfo and Biosurveillance research.