As we all know, fast deployment of wireless communications immediately after a disaster hits can make a big difference in providing help where it is most needed.
And we also know that these rapid deployments have spotty records at best. Sometimes they are not much help at all. Why is that?
I guess it's time to roll out the old clich "The devil is in the details," or a bit more to the point in this casethe assumptions.
During a recent visit to a disaster simulation SIM Day I learned that systems that works great under normal circumstances can fall flat at a disaster scene because all of the assumptions of "normal circumstances" don't apply after a hurricane or a tsunami.
Something I would not have thought of, for example, is that packet-based networks tend to die when utilization gets up into the 98 percent range. Message packets are dropped all over the place and sessions time out because acknowledgements haven't been received within the few milliseconds that it was assumed meant there was no connection available.
Sometimes the best laid plans go awry. So we always have to be sure to airlift in a few ingenious engineers who can cobble together something that works from almost anything that happens to be at hand.