Simon Fraser University


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.
Exactly seven years from yesterday (still today to some), early in the morning on September 11, 2001, nineteen hijackers took control of four commercial airliners en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington, D.C. The hijackers flew two of the airliners, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. Another group of hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, whose ultimate target was either the United States Capitol or White House, crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The HazInfo paper titled “Last-Mile Hazard Warning in Sri Lanka: Performance of WorldSpace Satellite Radios for Emergency Alerts”, coauthored by Srinivasan Rangarajan, PhD (Senior Vice President Engineering, WorldSpace), Peter Anderson (Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University), Gordon Gow, PhD (Assistant Professor, University of Alberta), and Nuwan Waidyanatha (Project Manager, LIRNEasia) was accepted for oral/poster presentation at the Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications (WPMC) at The Birla Science and Technology Center in the heart of Jaipur, India, December 03 – 06, 2007. WorldSpace, a lead technology partner in the HazInfo research project, field tested 16 Addressable Radios for Emergency Alerts (AREAs) in the Sarvodaya Communities and 34 AREAs in the Sarvodaya District Centers. Although the AREA solutions lacked bi-directional communication and seemed the least effective, the AREA solution proved to be the most reliable that worked with utmost certainty and greatest efficiency even when GSM and CDMA cells were deactivated for over 2 months, at the beginning of this year, during military operations in the conflict prone North-East regions of Sri Lanka. The HazInfo research introduced a concept called “complementary redundancy”, where coupling the AREA addressable/broadcast technology with a GSM mobile phone or CDMA nomadic phone improves the overall performance (reliability and effectiveness) […]
Paper titled “Community-based Hazard Warnings in Rural Sri Lanka: Performance of a Last-Mile Message Relay”, authors – Gordon Gow (Associate Professor, Faculty of Extensions, University of Alberta, Canada), Peter Anderson (Associate Professor, Department of Telematics, Simon Fraser University, Canada), and Nuwan Waidyanatha (Project Manager, Last-Mile Hazard Warning Systems, LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka), will be presented at the 1st Wireless Rural Emergency Communication Conference. The WRECOM 2007 Conference is jointly organized by the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, the IEEE Communications Society and the Vehicular Technology/Communications Society joint Chapter Italy Section. The conference will take place in Rome, October 1-2, 2007. The HazInfo project realized that early warnings via Information Communication Technology (ICT) must be a point-to-multi-point application and is best accommodate by Wireless ICTs. The HazInfo pilot included outfitting and field-testing an initial 32 villages with various combinations of wireless communication equipment, which could provide features such as: early warning wake-up, addressability and provision of information in three languages (English, Sinhalese and Tamil).
I was on the closing plenary at the Pacific Telecom Council, with Peter Anderson (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Stuart Weinstein (Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, Honolulu, USA) and Charlie Kagami (Japan). Plenary Talk Photo The topic was “Disaster warning: how can we get it right the next time?” The talk is What happened in Sri Lanka: And Why it won’t be so bad next time.