Patrick Lieser at final conference for SMARTER

“Disasters and crises can occur anytime and anywhere, this is why we should be sufficiently prepared.”, says Professor Matthias Hollik from the Technical University in Darmstadt. Especially this day and age, the mobile network is particularly vulnerable due to hacker attacks, natural disasters or power outages. If these networks broke down, the vital communication between people of the general public but also between crisis intervention teams would be made difficult or impossible.

To make communication possible even under such circumstances, the Technical University of Darmstadt and the University of Kassel, together with the BBK (Federal Office for Citizen Protection and Disaster Assistance), have been researching an innovative solution adapted to the digitalization since 2015. The result is SMARTER. In this project, an app was developed which enables communication via smartphones in emergencies. “People should be able to help themselves in a crisis”, says Software Campus participant Patrick Lieser from the Technical University of Darmstadt, whose research project ties in with the scenario of infrastructure independent communications networks. The goal is to increase the population’s ability to help themselves in a disaster situation so that on the one hand calls for help or life signs can be issued independently, and on the other hand important information can be made available for everyone.

“Every cellphone carries all data and messages in a kind of virtual backpack and exchanges these with every other available smartphone”, Patrick Lieser explains further. “Whenever participants come within each other’s reach, they disseminate data among one other.” The smartphones are connected over integrated WLAN chips so that a so-called ad hoc network is built on this basis.

At the final conference in January, results in the areas law, technology and social sciences were presented and the implications for authorities and organizations with security responsibilities, such as the fire department, were discussed. Invited were amongst others Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dieter Lukas, who is head of the department “key technologies – research for innovation” at BMBF and opened the event with a welcoming address. It was followed by a keynote by Lutz Diwell from Zukunftsforum Öffentliche Sicherheit e.V. Next to the presentation of work results, the smarter app was also tested on mobile devices. Then representatives from the respective areas discussed plans for the future in a panel discussion, which were allocated to individual round-table discussions at the end of the event.

Further information about the smarter project here.

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