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MANETs for Rural Public Safety

Project #: 4W1566
Start Date: 03/01/2007
End Date: 08/15/2008

Providing responsive and effective public safety requires coordination, command, control, communication and sharing of information with numerous criminal justice, public safety agencies and public utilities. These tasks are particularly challenging in rural and sparsely populated areas, where the lack of communications infrastructure, large distances and difficult terrain adds additional difficulties and complexity. The Hot Springs County Wyoming Sheriff’s Office recently approached researchers at Montana State University to request assistance in addressing and overcoming communications challenges such as these, which they face in normal day-to-day operations. Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) provide the potential for addressing these pressing needs. A MANET is a network of computers that can automatically start communicating when they are close enough to one another to be in wireless range. A team from the Western Transportation Institute and the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science at Montana State University, and the Hot Springs County Wyoming Sheriff’s Department have initiated a project to develop a routing protocol for Mobile Ad-hoc Networks and field test a MANET, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS SAFECOM program funds research into emerging technologies that can help public safety agencies communicate with each other and coordinate services. Through this project, researchers will develop a standardized routing protocol in response to the requirements of law enforcement agencies in Hot Springs County, Wyoming, with the expectation that the protocol will be applicable to agencies in similar rural locations.


The overall objective of this project is to enhance or develop a routing protocol for Mobile Ad-hoc Networks and conduct proof-of-concept demonstration of Mobile Ad-hoc Networks, as a method for enhancing wireless communications for law enforcement agencies in remote, rural locations.


  • Doug Galarus
    Doug Galarus
  • Neil Tang
    Neil Tang
  • Richard Wolff
    Richard Wolff


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