Boston University Engineering Home Electrical & Computer Engineering Contact us



Back to projects...





Sensor Networks for Emergency Response

Existing infrastructure for responding to an emergency situation, such as a building fire, is inadequate. When the first responders come, they get very limited information about the building or the location and nature of the fire on-site. Also, during the second phase of the operation when other firefighters join the first responders, there is no way to effectively track the personnel and harmonize the operation. Due to the lack of location information, many trapped fire-fighter have lost their lives in the past. 

In this project, we propose a system model that solves these problems effectively. We deploy a wireless sensor network in the building and also store information about the building in this network, possibly in a distributed manner. The first responders would download this pre-stored information to fight the fire efficiently. Later, the same network would be used for location detection and sending temperature information to all personnel. This way, the incident commander would be able to see a 3-d visualization of the site and can effectively organize the operation.

The system possesses various interesting conceptual and design challenges. We introduce the concept of an One-Shot network, where the network is activated for a few hours only once in its lifetime. 

Lab of Networking and Information Systems

Room 413 Photonics  Building

8 St Mary's Street, Boston MA 02215

Web site created by Sachin Agarwal (