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The Alcatel-Lucent BMC network architecture

With two thirds of the world population now carrying a mobile phone, we are in the position for the first time to enable a new form of broadcasting. Alcatel-Lucent has announced a new Broadcast Message Center (BMC) which enables targeted government text alerts to be sent to mobile users based on their location – from a city block to nationwide. The flexibility and scalability of the BMC will save lives in the event of a gas leak, chemical spillage or natural disaster, as it leverages cell broadcast technology to bypass the network congestion that invariably hampers emergencies. The BMC will also be deployed as a commercial broadcast solution, enabling enterprises to communicate with a mobile workforce, or service providers to offer opt-in subscriber services that generate new sources of revenue.  Read More

The MOSE (Mechanical Oil spill Sanitation Equipment) oil spill vacuum

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill earlier this year prompted many researchers to concentrate their efforts on developing better ways to clean up oil after such disasters. We’ve looked at approaches such as autonomous robots and underwater separators to collect the oil while it is still at sea, but students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have developed a novel approach to dealing with the oil once it winds up on shore – a vacuum cleaner.  Read More

Younghwa Lee's door provides shelter in the event of an earthquake

What are you supposed to do when an earthquake hits? If you answered “Go stand in a doorway,” you get a gold star... although "Get under a table" would also be correct. Doorways are structurally stronger than most other parts of a building, and are often the last thing left standing when a structure has been destroyed by an earthquake. A narrow doorway offers little, however, in the way of protection from falling debris. That’s why an MA Design student from England’s Kingston has University invented a special kind of door.  Read More

Could submarines be used to stop typhoons? (Photo: Georgio40)

We usually accept it as a given that we can't change the weather. When it comes to extreme situations like hurricanes or earthquakes, such disasters are labeled "acts of god" because we generally feel helpless to in the face of nature's wrath. But recently an ambitious Japanese manufacturing firm Ise Kogyo has boldly claimed that they can help weaken the impact of typhoons. And even more surprising, the company's weapon of choice is the submarine.  Read More

The Emergency Bra as a facemask

Sexy red lingerie and heavy breathing have traditionally gone hand in hand. But a bra from inventor, Dr. Elena Bodnar, is designed to let people breathe easier. Her Emergency Bra is a protective device that transforms from a bra into two respiratory pace masks to filter out harmful airborne particles, such as those released by fire, explosion, terrorist, radiological, biological attack, and natural disasters.  Read More

Global Observe has completed a series of Wing Load Tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research ...

AeroVironment has passed a critical milestone in the development of its Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The company reports that the High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft has completed a series of Wing Load Tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center – proving that the aircraft's all-composite 175-foot wing can withstand the level of dynamic stress it will be subjected to at altitudes of between 55,000 and 65,000 feet.  Read More

Australian researchers have developed software that creates a mesh network using Wi-Fi ena...

Unsurprisingly, the Australian outback doesn’t exactly boast the greatest mobile phone coverage in the world. But researchers down under have managed to make mobile phone calls in this remote landscape without the use of towers or satellites. Instead of relying on expensive infrastructure, the researchers created a mesh-based phone network between Wi-Fi enabled mobile phones that allowed them to communicate with each other.  Read More

The Vivos Underground Survival Shelter will accommodate up to 200 people in post apocalypt...

With the end of the world apparently scheduled for December 31, 2012, there’s sure to be a number of opportunistic companies looking to cash in on the upcoming apocalypse. One such company is Vivos, which envisions a network of 20 underground shelters located near major cities across the U.S. with accommodation for up to 4,000 people.  Read More

Liam Ferguson of Monash University has been shortlisted for an Australian Design Award for...

Wildfire is one of the few natural disasters that we are at all equipped to combat, but when it takes a ferocious hold we are often able to do little more than limit the spread. Responding to a need for better equipment at the front line, AMATOYA is a concept fire reconnaissance buggy designed to improve vehicle and crew safety while maintaining off road capabilities and delivering better fire suppression technology in the critical initial response phase  Read More

An image from the orbiting Hyperspectral Remote Sensor (HRS)

Combining sophisticated sensors in orbit with sensors on the ground and in the air has led researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) to create a “Hyperspectral Remote Sensor” (HRS) that can give advance warnings about water contamination after a forest fire, alert authorities of a pollution spill long before a red flag is raised on Earth, or inform the population where a monsoon will strike.  Read More

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