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Cognitive Radio Helps Organize Ad Hoc Emergency Services Network

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Researchers at the University of Twente (UT) in the Netherlands have developed an emergency communications system using cognitive radio technology that will be able to borrow free space from other frequency bands to organize an ad hoc communications network as needed.

Public networks can become clogged by citizens trying to call for help or get in touch with relatives, and dedicated emergency channels have limited bandwidth. If emergency services create a need for video communications in the future, or want to send data on patients to a hospital, a greater allocation of bandwidth would be needed.

UT's cognitive radio system can identify all transmitting and receiving possibilities in the area and construct an ad hoc network without requiring basic infrastructure. The system also would enable other users in the area, such as other emergency services departments, to jointly form the nodes of a temporary network.

Cognitive radio's flexibility requires significant calculating power. UT's system uses a reconfigurable processor dubbed Montium devised by doctoral student Qiwei Zhang, who also has developed special algorithms to adapt the transmitting signal to the local conditions, and to prevent undesirable interference with other users. UT's cognitive radio system also could be used in any situation where wireless networks are clogged.

From The University of Twente
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