Intern/Externship Syllabus Spring 2018:
Franklin R. Bryan, J.D., B.S. CSEE – my work has focused on mesh networks, neural networks, AI, advanced wireless data and power systems, and other cutting-edge technologies for clients such as the Army Research Labs, NSA, DARPA, Samsung Electronics, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Intellectual Discovery, Nasa, Cadence Design Systems, Elan, BenQ, Lite-On, Corel, and others.
Problem: Communications towers, power infrastructure, diesel delivery, mountain roads and other logistics problems create a perfect storm where traditional hierarchical (single-point of failure) communication methods, particularly in mountainous regions like Lares, Utuado and others, will continuously suffer from a lack of communication, lack of reliable emergency information, and an inability to coordinate with first responders and survivors. High winds, rain, mudslides, and other phenomena will continue to challenge terrestrial and satellite communications infrastructure – and even after the disaster, supplying a steady supply of diesel and power is problematic to maintain communications.
Solution: Provide organic, dynamically assembled, ground-up node-to-node p2p low-power distributed and decentralized resilient communications. Many smartphones are dust, water, and shock proof, battery operable and are rechargeable by small solar panels, cars, or other means. In emergency situations, the survivors generally keep these devices with them. We successfully ran a campaign to supply Puerto Rico with over 500 GoTenna long-range mesh devices by raising approximately $20,000. (These are being installed now and provided to churches and community leaders as part of the PReconnects project) – however, these only work with one client device at a time (1:1).
Our solution is to leverage that existing mesh hardware infrastructure by developing a software ONLY approach to employ the integral bluetooth and WiFi radios in survivors’ phones using mesh software to enable mesh communications amongst members of the community with a student-developed open-source gateway application that enables sharing of the gotenna devices (or other long-range mesh hardware) with many users (1:M or M:N) employing the software mesh. In this manner, we will be able to provide seamless communications in bidirectional manner to share disaster information to the people, allow the delivery of messages requesting help to first responders, and empower community members to work together and communicate with each other – even when traditional communication channels are down.
- Develop an open source meta-app in object-oriented fashion (rather than redesigning the wheel) connecting short-range intra-community software mesh with long-range inter-community hardware mesh (in vendor agnostic and extensible manner) to provide for bi-directional disaster communications even when power is limited and towers are down. To target the highest number of devices in areas such as Utuado, Lares, and other areas with limited communications and power infrastructure, we will employ Android SDK and Java SDK to accept modular plugin applets using e.g. Gotenna SDK and BridgeFy SDK (which have agreed to a free license for our pro bono publico use). To ensure public access, transparency, openness, and accountability, we will employ a public Github repository so that anyone may access, fork, critique, suggest improvements, or copy the source-code that our students generate.
- Candidate software mesh IoT apps such as e.g. Built on Gotenna SDK and BridgeFy SDK, OpenGarden SDK, Serval Mesh (Open Source), Batphone universal (Open Source), Spot, Garmin inreach satphone explorer, plug-in interoperability for nonprofit, ngo, emergency mesh repeater software / app development.
- Explore and report on interconnectivity potential between smart devices and CB, FRS, GMRS, Tetra, DMR, Ham radio repeaters.
- Explore compatibility of and promote deployment of FM radio applications on smart phones for disaster preparedness and critical disaster information sharing.
- Promote installation and registration of software IoT mesh applications such as BridgeFy or OpenGardens Firechat BEFORE hurricane season 2018.
- Liaise with community, church, municipality leaders to teach and help introduce our free application to bridge heterogeneous mesh networks and provide FM reception on resilient devices through the next storm.