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Post-disaster Recovery Management and Coordination Program

"Wireless 'DUMBO' turns ordinary laptops/ PDAs into live-saving network
...and a platform for effective recovery management"


DUMBO is a joint research project led by the Internet Research and Education Laboratory of AIT (Thailand), the HIPERCOM Project of INRIA (France) and the WIDE Project (Japan).


Background

2 May 2008 -- a deadly tropical cyclone Nargis, which occurred over the Bay of Bengal, hit Myanmar which devastated five divisions and states - Yangon, Bago, Ayeyarwaddy, Kayin and Mon, of which Ayeyarwaddy and Yangon sustained the heaviest casualties and infrastructural damages. Affected coastal towns in the southwestern Ayeyarwaddy division include Haing Gyi Island, Pathein, Myaungmya, Laputta, Mawlamyinegyun, Kyaiklat, Phyar Pon, Bogalay etc.

Myanmar declared the five divisions and states as natural-disaster-hit regions a day after the cyclone hit the country. A total of 40 townships in Yangon division and 7 townships in Ayeyarwaddy division have still remained as the natural-disaster-hit areas status where relief and rehabilitation works are being carried out promptly


Introduction

The Internet Education and Research Laboratory (intERLab) at Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand has put together networking technology for a post-disaster recovery conditions which can be used for the management and effective coordination among field workers of local government agencies and NGOs.

Known as DUMBO, it stands for Digital Ubiquitous Mobile Broadband OLSR. (OSLR is a networking term meaning Optimized Link State Routing.) DUMBO can deploy mobile wireless network on an ad hoc (MANET) basis for emergency conditions such in a post-disaster period when a fixed network infrastructure is not available or had been destroyed.

In this emergency network, the mobile nodes can communicate directly among themselves using voice over IP (VoIP) and SMS messages. Streaming video can be sent from each node to the central coordination unit, which can then broadcast to all nodes in the network. The central unit can be located either in the disaster areas or anywhere in the Internet or Intranet.

AIT's intERLab has proposed the coordination plan for the post-disaster recovery management which is useful in handling of relief, recovery and resettlement activities aftermath of Nargin Cyclone. AIT DUMBO team will support Myanmar and work along with local field workers as well as provide hands-on trainings to them to be able to make the best use of the system and its facilities.

Our coordination program consists of two parts:

Phase I - Introductory of DUMBO and its facilities to help handle the authorities the disaster, and extension of the MANET networks into disaster areas.

Phase II - Utilization of MANET networks in disaster areas by government agencies and local NGOs.

Our idea is to turn ordinary computers such as laptops and PDAs, to network devices without having to acquire special hardware. Any guest computer, with simple software installation and configuration, can join in and be a part of the DUMBO network. On this network, we will install EasyDC software for emergency communications which enables VOIP and short messages applications.



More information about DUMBO, please visit:
http://www.interlab.ait.ac.th/dumbo/index.php