SafeMesh: A Wireless Mesh Network Routing Protocol for Incident Area Communications

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Executive Summary

Reliable broadband communication is becoming increasingly important during disaster recovery and emergency response operations. In situations where infrastructure-based communication is not available or has been disrupted, an Incident Area Network needs to be dynamically deployed, i.e. a temporary network that provides communication services for efficient crisis management at an incident site. Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs) are multihop wireless networks with self-healing and self-configuring capabilities. These features, combined with the ability to provide wireless broadband connectivity at a comparably low cost, make WMNs a promising technology for incident management communications. This paper specifically focuses on hybrid WMNs, which allow both mobile client devices as well as dedicated infrastructure nodes to form the network and provide routing and forwarding functionality.

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