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Emergency communicationCommunications system that can withstand natural disasters

Published 26 October 2017

In the wake of natural disasters which have brought communication to a standstill, researchers have been leading an international research team to tackle the problems of maintaining communications under hostile conditions. A researcher at Queen’s University Belfast has been shortlisted for the 2017 Newton Prize after he created a robust wireless communications system which can battle through an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane.

Natural disasters can play havoc with communication as well // Source: yahoo.com

A researcher at Queen’s University Belfast has been shortlisted for the 2017 Newton Prize after he created a robust wireless communications system which can battle through an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane.

In the wake of natural disasters which have brought communication to a standstill, Dr. Trung Duong — who is originally from Vietnam and based at the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen’s — has been leading an international research team to tackle the problems of maintaining communications under hostile conditions.

Throughout this extreme weather, communication has been essentially nonexistent but Dr. Duong’s team have now come up with a solution to the problem. They have designed an integrated heterogeneous wireless system (IHWS), which is robust in disaster scenarios, coping with issues such as physical destruction of telecommunication networks, lack of power supply and network congestion.

QUB says that the system also provides early warning of natural disasters by detecting water level, vibration and wind. In cities, the IWHS can detect increases in dust, temperature, noise and carbon dioxide levels.

The Newton Prize is an annual £1 million fund awarded for the best research or innovation that supports the economic development and social welfare of developing countries. Dr. Duong is in with the chance of winning up to £200,000 from the Prize to be used to advance or develop the work further.

The Newton Prize winners will be announced at celebratory award ceremonies in November and the Minister for Universities, Science and Research Jo Johnson will also host a U.K. event in London in early December to celebrate the first year of the Prize and to announce the 2018 Newton Prize countries.