The Serval Project at Flinders University is integrating a low-cost satellite broadcast system into the Serval Mesh, that will allow emergency alerts and information to be quickly and affordably distributed in areas lacking cellular coverage.
Early warning systems for tsunami, cyclone and other hazards typically require cellular or internet services. This means that many smaller and more isolated communities are unable to receive such alerts or other useful information, contributing to their vulnerability in the face of natural hazards. A related problem is the provision of information into difficult and evolving situations, such as refugee camps, where conventional connectivity may be absent or overwhelmed.
We are solving the problem of getting emergency and other information to communities living beyond the edge of a reliable cellular service by combing the Serval Mesh off-grid mobile communications system with Outernet’s innovative satellite broadcast service and <$100 and <1KG satellite receiver, to create the world’s first system that will allow affordable and scalable emergency alert and information dissemination, that can potentially service every small or isolated community with this need.
Importantly, the operating cost is proportional to the number of alerts/information dispatches per year, not the number of serviced communities. It is this, combined with the low-cost (estimated US$1K per system), small size (<20KG and 0.1 cubic metres) and potential for local assembly of the hardware that help to makes this solution uniquely scalable and sustainable.
We expect to create a functioning proof-of-concept system that can receive emergency alerts and related information via the Outernet satellite broadcast service, and distribute that information among a remote community via the Serval Mesh off-grid mobile communications system.
Flinders University introduce us to their project with Outernet, seeking to make early warning information available to remote communitiesView
Despite setbacks and challenges, Flinders University are one step closer to operating a satellite at low cost, and getting emergency alerts out to small and isolated communitiesView
Flinders University have overcome some challenges in their ESI project, and are now up and running complete with their own satellite ground station which will cut operating costs and give them more control over the serviceView
As their project comes to an end, Flinders University report back on their innovation to disseminate information and warnings in the most remote locations around the world (final project blog!)View
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