A recent article on the Computerworld website, describes a development by Georgia Tech computer science professor Santosh Vempala that envisions greater reliance on device-to-device communications using typical consumer phones after a disaster. This network, called LifeNet, uses free open-source software to allow consumer devices such as laptops, Android phones and battery-powered routers to form ad hoc Wi-Fi, peer-to-peer networks without relying on cellular towers or base stations.
This seems to me a perfect application of amateur radio. Someone should contact this guy to see how amateur radio might play a part in LifeNet.
The article goes on to say:
Keith Robertory, manager of national disaster emergency communications for the American Red Cross in Washington, said he has used robust peer-to-peer wireless systems in recent years that will forward a message through other radios. One that operates on the amateur radio band has a time-out feature built in so that the message does not keep repeating itself indefinitely. The peer-to-peer concept is sound, he said, but hasn’t been widely used.
Does anyone know what peer-to-peer networking the Red Cross guy is referring to? Why isn’t it being widely used?