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Posts: 2,220 Member Since: 10/04/08


Sep 25 14 11:45 PM

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BBC News reports when the UK government delivered emergency aid to people in northern Iraq in August, one of its primary concerns was how the refugees might charge their mobile phones

They say that in 2010, Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen, a computer systems researcher at Flinders University in Australia, was driving to work in his car when he first heard radio reports of the devastation of the Haiti earthquake, more than 10,000 miles away.

Alongside tents and drinking water, RAF planes dropped more than 1,000 solar-powered lanterns attached to chargers for all types of mobile handsets to the stranded members of the Yazidi religious community.

With roads blocked, infrastructure reduced to rubble and mobile networks down, he realised something needed to be done, and quickly.

"You typically have about three days to restore the communications before the bad people realise the good people aren't in control any more," he says.

His solution was to develop the technology that allows mobile phones to communicate directly with each other even where there is no network coverage, or when mobile masts have been knocked out of action - a system known as "mesh networking".

His Serval Project work means users can send text messages, make calls and send files to other users nearby, creating a mobile network through a web of users.

Read the BBC News story at

The Serval Project

Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen
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Posts: 34 Member Since:03/22/16

#1 [url]

Mar 27 16 11:41 AM

I’ve heard about mesh networking before, but I thought it was still a concept and not yet implemented in real life practice. It’s a very promising asset in aiding communication for people who are separated from crowds because of natural disasters or other large scale emergencies.

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Posts: 7 Member Since:04/21/16

#2 [url]

Apr 21 16 4:50 PM

I am not sure I understand how it would work, but I do know that being able to maintain some sort of law and order after devastation like the sort seen in Haiti after the earthquakes is paramount. I am reading one of the articles you posted now. It's quite fascinating.

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Posts: 7 Member Since:04/22/16

#3 [url]

Apr 23 16 7:40 PM

This is quite interesting. I really like the idea of "store-and-forward" data, with data packets sitting in the phone waiting for the next network phone to pass by. It's like a mobile phone Pony Express.

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Posts: 50 Member Since:03/11/16

#4 [url]

Jun 2 16 5:06 AM

I don't understand. How can phones connect with each other when there is no reception or direct connection such as infrared? Especially in times of disaster where only simple methods such as radio waves can work in large area. But still this is a great idea for countries which are prone to natural disasters, so hopefully this idea can be developed further.

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