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Situational Awareness for Emergencies through Network-Enabled Technologies (SafeT-Net)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Safe-T-Net will develop new localization algorithms for low-cost devices that can obtain localization information using different radio technologies such as ultra-wideband (UWB) or orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM). An important aspect in Safe-T-Net is to exploit multipath propagation to increase localization accuracy and to enable localization capabilities on mobile end-user communication devices. In particular, multi-path phenomena are exploited by inferring the indoor propagation environment together with transmitter / receiver positions. This approach is particularly promising in future 5G communication systems, where millimeter wave signals allow the integration of antenna arrays on handheld devices. -July 2019

Quick Resources



Meet the Team

Principal Investigator: Moe Win

Project Overview

This project aims to revolutionize situational awareness in public safety emergency situations by employing the paradigm of network-enabled technologies. Currently, public safety capabilities are limited by unobtainable positional and environmental information and unavailable high data rate services in mission critical situations. This project will address these limitations and unleash the following three key innovations to accelerate research, development, production, and testing of localization, mapping, and communication technologies for public safety applications.

Robust Localization and Mapping Techniques

Safe-T-Net will develop new localization algorithms for low-cost devices that perform ranging using different radio technologies such as ultra-wideband (UWB) or orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM). It will also establish simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) techniques that can infer map information from received UWB signals. The resulting localization systems can quickly and accurately determine the positions of responders, assets, and victims.

Versatile Communication Demand Models

Safe-T-Net will devise versatile communication demand models that exploit potentials of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network and the future Internet of Things (IoT) for public safety operations. These models can be used for planning and provisioning operational networks as well as modelling network behaviors in specific public safety incident response scenarios.

Asset Management and Deployment Algorithms

Safe-T-Net will design context-aware optimization and control strategies for efficient use of communication and localization assets. The envisioned strategies will allow management of resources like power or bandwidth and determination of position and movement of public safety assets for resource-efficient operation. They are especially suitable for situations with disrupted network connectivity due to either routing faults or catastrophic events.

Intellectual Merit

SafeT-Net uses network-enabled technologies to exploit cooperation among first responders and victims by means of low-cost devices and existing consumer communication systems for increased situational-awareness in public safety emergencies. The merits of this project lie in developing:
  1. lightweight and inexpensive devices for indoor localization and mapping 
  2. communication demand models for public safety applications
  3. algorithms for resource-efficient operation of responder assets.

Broader Impacts

Innovation resulting from Safe-T-Net will lead to shorter response times, and a more efficient use of responder resources, thereby limiting negative effects and minimize casualties in public safety emergencies. The results of this research can easily be integrated in operational tools such as the Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS). In addition, they will be disseminated to the public safety stakeholder community and used in teaching materials, as well as tutorials and short courses to be presented worldwide.

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Created September 21, 2017, Updated December 22, 2022