ROSNet: A WMN based Framework using UAVs and ground nodes for Post-Disaster Management

Communication breakdowns during natural disasters can significantly restrict disaster management operations. Furthermore, cellular networks may also be unreliable in such scenarios. Hence, establishing communication using alternative means is of importance in these scenarios.

In this paper, we propose a prototype system to establish communication using wireless mesh network, through the use of stationary and mobile ground nodes, and aerial nodes using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This network is ad hoc and establishes connectivity without the usage of a cellular network or internet. Our system provides a complete end to end architecture, where we deploy an android application on smartphones at the user-end, the ad hoc network comprising of stationary and mobile nodes, and a graphical user interface (GUI) at the base station that facilitates situational awareness. We use the Robot Operating System (ROS) as the middleware for message synchronization between the nodes as well for UAV control. We evaluate the system for different system configurations by using UAVs and a semi-autonomous car. Our experimental results show that the system could be indispensable in providing large scale connectivity.