DNKRK (Distributed Network Kernel & Response Kit) is a platform for data collection when wide-spread internet connectivity is lost following natural disasters in highly populated areas with poor infrastructure, such as in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Over 24 hours, we developed three working parts to this platform: a bluetooth mesh network, a mobile application, and a web application.
The bluetooth mesh network enables users to communicate data from our mobile application within a local network over bluetooth. The data collected from every node is stored in each phone in the network, and when a member of this network connects to the internet via a satellite phone or other internet connection, the data is pushed to our web application. We implemented routing algorithms and duplicate-data checks to ensure efficient communication.
The mobile application has a form to collect valuable data including: number in group, presence of children or elderly, emergency status level, and status details such as being trapped or in the presence of fire. The profile is able to be updated as a group’s status or information changes.
The web application then presents this data through heat-map overlays on top of Google Maps. The web dashboard allows first responders to see where population is most dense and draw important conclusions. For example, if many people in a certain area report being trapped, the responders can fairly assume a building has collapsed and send help immediately.