Smart mobile devices and wireless Internet access are allowing emergency responders to access and share valuable emergency-related information coming from data repositories, citizens, surveillance cameras, and many other sources. However, because there is no accurate and energy-efficient indoor positioning solution, emergency responders cannot translate that wealth of information into a much-needed situational awareness. This project addresses this unique challenge by using data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT). More specifically, this project devises an accurate, scalable, energy efficient, robust, and resilient indoor positioning solution using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons.

These battery-operated beacons will be deployed in buildings as part of emergency preparedness strategy. When an emergency happens, the communication between these beacons and the smartphones and tablets of emergency responders will give emergency responders the necessary situational awareness at the right time and the right location. This positioning solution is based on a thorough analysis of signal propagation and coverage measurements using machine-learning tools. This solution will then be used to prototype a Location-Based Service (LBS). This software application gives emergency responders necessary and sufficient situational awareness while responding to building emergencies. This LBS is designed and developed based on a comprehensive analysis of buildings’ information, emergency response plans, and emergency records.

This combined repository of information is processed using text mining to identify points of interest at any building and during any emergency and give a statistical model for the workflow of emergency responders between these points. Deploying BLE beacons at these points will help expedite the preparation and execution of emergency response plans, and hence enhance the situational-awareness, efficiency, and effectiveness of emergency responders. This is the first project to combine data analytics and IoT in the public safety domain. Its findings will have a ripple effect on the design and development of software solutions for emergency responders.

Industry Partner(s):APX Data

Academic Institution:University of Ottawa

Academic Researcher: Hussein Mouftah

Focus Areas: Advanced Manufacturing, Cybersecurity, Digital Media

Platforms: Cloud