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) of the HazInfo system. The HazInfo system was used in a “live” scenario during the Bengkulu earthquake on September 12th.