ISE Designing National Emergency Communications System

October 27, 2006

Professors Sandra Eksioglu and Burak Eksioglu of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering are Co-Principal Investigators for a $497,000 grant from the United States Department of Homeland Security. The project is a joint effort between Mississippi State University and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Principal Investigator for the project is Professor Lori Bruce of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the GeoResources Institute. Computer Science and Engineering Professor TJ Jankun-Kelly is also involved with the project.

The objective of this research program is to develop a strategic plan for building, operating, and maintaining a robust, national emergency communications system that will assure reliable communications during disaster management operations. The strategic plan will include risk and economic viability assessments, identification of critical systems and technologies, and development of operating principles that are necessary for assured communications during national ergencies.

The research will be beneficial because a strategic plan will guide immediate investments in communications infrastructure that is essential for improving national emergency preparedness and future disaster management operations, and a strategic plan is needed to direct future research and development towards improving critical communications infrastructure. Building a national emergency communications system is challenging since it requires in-depth analysis of communications needs that exist, but are not presently satisfied, when responding to large-scale disasters; and, it requires models of historical and future scenarios that reflect real requirements and can usefully serve as a test bed for new concepts.

The research program will take advantage of the Office of Interoperability and Compatibility’s SAFECOM and RapidCom initiatives in devising strategies for a highly reliable communications (both public and private) infrastructure during disaster management. The technology will be developed taking into account the existing and emerging standards so as to provide ease of interoperability and upgradeability.

Contact Sandra Eksioglu at (662) 325-9220 or Burak Eksioglu at (662) 325-7625 for additional information.