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LoRaMoto: A communication system to provide safety awareness among civilians after an earthquake

TitleLoRaMoto: A communication system to provide safety awareness among civilians after an earthquake
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsPueyo-Centelles, R, Meseguer, R, Freitag, F, Navarro, L, Ochoa, SF, Santos, RM
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Date Publishedfeb/2021
AbstractCivilians in areas hit by earthquakes become in particular concerned about the safety of family and friends. However, outages in communications networks following these events limit their capacity to get information. So, people drive their cars to check on their loved ones, risking their own lives and hindering the activities of first response organizations. This article proposes LoRaMoto, a communications system that allows civilians to exchange information about their status with others without hampering the first responders and minimizing their exposure to hazards. Furthermore, the information exchanged can be aggregated to support the operations of emergency management. LoRaMoto extends the LoRaWAN architecture and implements a packet-forwarding mechanism between the end nodes of the system. This helps overcome potential infrastructure blackouts after an earthquake, so it provides safety awareness information when it is most needed. We evaluated the system performance and capacity of this system by simulating its use in a realistic environment, testing a baseline configuration, and exploring several modifications to better understand its scalability and its portability to other emergency environments. The simulation results show how the LoRaMoto system can meet the communication needs of civilians, and also keep first response and emergency management organizations informed.