Progressive Image Transfer and Handheld Devices in Emergency Communications
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Image communications solutions tailored for Crisis Management are today needed and requested by many. The availability of such solutions are however limited. In this project we improve an existing Emergency Communications solution, named Adaptive System for Image communication in Global Networks (ASIGN), by optimizing image transfer by application of JPEG2000 technology and by adding handheld terminals that are convenient for field operation. Our solution is part of a European Union (EU) research project named Wireless Infrastructure over Satellite for Emergency COMmunications (WISECOM). Our solution was tested during the WISECOM Trials, which was a simulation of a full scale rescue operation. It took place at the headquarters of Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) near Munich. We have learned from these Trials the importance of how Emergency Communications solutions must be able to handle unreliable channels. Handheld devices was proven to be useful for field operation, and progressive image transfer with JPEG2000 functions well with todays handheld devices. Our results show that progressive image transfer based on JPEG2000 will significantly increase the efficiency of image transfer for Emergency Communications, provided it is used in an optimal way. Progressive image transfer based on JPEG2000 is beneficial for Emergency Communications: * when image quality is mission critical, or * when large areas within an image are relevant, or * when the interactivity provided by the protocol used for progressive image transfer is limited and thus the overhead of control traffic is minimized Our solution reduces response time and costs of use for image communication in Emergency Communications systems, and thus helps save lives.