Rebecca Scott

Culture Editor

The project sees drones being utilised to ensure the vitality of mobile communication systems in the event of natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

The University of Glasgow held and contributed to the first successful demonstration of the Distributed Autonomous and Resilient Emergency Management System (DARE) project on Thursday 12 March.

The project, which utilises drones in ensuring the vitality of mobile communication systems in cases of natural disasters or terrorist attacks, is being developed by Regius Professor Rahim Tafazolli of the University of Surrey in collaboration with the Universities of Glasgow, Kingston and Malaya.

Work on DARE began in May 2017, with the project receiving £1.2m in financial support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s Global Research Challenge Fund.

The demonstration of the DARE project’s drones took place in the Stevenson Building, with five network nodes set up in the building all able to successfully deliver a 5G network signal to users via the drone.

Since 2017, the DARE research team has been developing these airborne drones and battery-powered 5G wireless nodes to allow drone machinery to bring communication to sites where it may have been disrupted. The DARE team highlights natural hazards, such as tsunamis or earthquakes, as events which put traditional communications towers at great risk.

The development of this technology would allow drones to be flown into sites of disaster to autonomously provide affected communities and relief workers with high-speed internet access. This would allow first responders and families to touch base with each other even when other forms of communication have failed.

The technology from the DARE project could also see implementation in large-scale events, such as music festivals or conventions, to allow for organisers to maintain effective communication and better meet the needs of attendees.



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