Visible to the public Programming Environment and Architecuture for Situational Awareness and Response


The objective of this research is to investigate and implement software architectures to improve productivity in the development of rapidly deployable, robust, real-time situational awareness and response (R3SAR) applications. Emergency response applications, typified by human and natural disasters such as hurricanes or chemical spills, are distinguished by the need to be rapidly deployable, to maintain robustness under potential disruptions in the network, and to provide real-time communication guarantees. The system is intended for a multimodal domain in which mobile sensors attached to vehicles or persons are capable of constantly streaming data and that first-response users require painless data collection from their local devices and emergency managers require a high-level overview of the complete picture of data.

The past few years have seen a revolution of technologies available for sensor systems. Inexpensive Android-based mobile phones and tablets have gotten a significant share of the commercial market. Smartphone devices economically package many of the software and hardware components needed by a typical emergency response sensor system including an on- platform relational database, camera, accelerometer, microphone, video camera, and most importantly, a cellular radio and global positioning system (GPS). Previously, industrial versions of these modules were assembled at much greater hardware and labor cost and less reliability and flexibility than is available by the typical Android phone. We have implemented an experimental system that permits a commodity Android device to dynamically configure itself for a pre-instrumented sensor environment.

The driving problem is to build an extensible infrastructure for vehicle-based sensors connected to a central geo-analytics platform. The first use will be for mobile road condition (temperature, precipitation, ice) sensing for use in decision support by public safety and school system officials .

The vehicle is wired with attached road and air temperature and moisture sensors connected by an Arduino controller hub with a Bluetooth radio. The Android device automatically downloads software for that sensor configuration, connects via Bluetooth, and proceeds to collect, analyze, and relay data to a central geoanalytics server designed to be flexibly reconfigured as part of a sense and respond system.

This platform is typified by giving an Android device the capability to assess the sensors available to it and rapidly configure itself by downloading an "app" that contains drivers for all the available sensors and the data collection mechanisms and analysis policies. This is done with minimal user-intervention, making it rapidly deployable and reconfigurable.

Award ID: 0932011

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Programming Environment and Architecuture for Situational Awareness and Response