Smart Emergency Response System - SERS

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Smart Emergency Response System - SERS
GCTC logo 344x80.png
Emergency Response Tarrant
Team Organizations University of Texas at Arlington
University of North Texas
Denton Fire Department
Denton municipal Electric
Emergency Pre-paredness Department of the North Central Texas Council of Governments
Tarrant County Fire Service Training Center
Austin Fire Department
Team Leaders Yan Wan
Shengli Fu
Participating Municipalities Tarrant TX
Denton TX
Austin TX
Status Launched
Document Download


The success of emergency response operations critically relies on the efficiency of emergency communication infrastructure. This project aims to mature and test the drone-carried on-demand broadband communication infrastructure for emergency use and quantify its benefit compared with existing on-demand emergency communication technologies.


Practical provision of on-demand drone-carried robust long-distance WiFi communication infrastructure


Acceleration of technology transfer through close collaboration with Emergency Preparedness Departments in Texas

Major Requirements

  • Mature the prototype drone WiFi system to improve the robust long-distance drone-to-drone communication.
  • Plan emergency testing scenarios through close collaboration with first responders, coordinators and directors.
  • Deploy and test at multiple emergency exercises, including
  1. full-city tornado exercise at the Denton City in May,
  2. controlled wildfire exercise at the Denton County in June, and
  3. multi-city disaster drill in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in November.
  • Quantitatively analyze the performance improvement for emergency communication using the drone-carried system.

Performance Targets

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Measurement Methods

The performance improvements include but not limit to the following:

  • Reduce the search-and-rescue time by 30%
  • Reduce the cost of search and monitoring by 50%

The performance impact is measured through multiple emergency exercises.

Standards, Replicability, Scalability, and Sustainability

  • The project provides case studies on quantifying the performance of a variety of on-demand emergency communication technologies.
  • The project involves testing in multiple emergency exercises at a variety of scales, and is expected to provide insights on the replicability, scalability, and sustainability of the drone-carried communication infrastructure being developed.

Cybersecurity and Privacy



  • Save lives: Reduced emergency response time, real-time information sharing; reduced risk; optimized resource planning
  • Job creation: public service experts; robot operators; drone operators; usability experts
  • New businesses: On-demand network service; multi-drone applications
  • Economic Growth: Service time reduction; safe air transportation; decrease in maintenance expenses


  • Phase I Pilot/Demonstration:
  1. Demonstration made with the Discovery Channel Canada on three emergency scenarios: rescue on flooding water, car accident, and wildfire
  2. Demonstration with the Denton City Fire Department through participating in the full city tornado exercise in May 2016

  • Phase II Deployment:
  1. Demonstration in the controlled wildfire exercise at the Denton County
  2. Demonstration through participating in the multi-city disaster drill in the Dallas-Fort Worth area