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Volume 10, issue 11 | Copyright

Special issue: The GITEWS Project (German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 2215-2228, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-10-2215-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  02 Nov 2010

02 Nov 2010


Communication architecture of an early warning system

M. Angermann1, M. Guenther2,*, and K. Wendlandt1 M. Angermann et al.
  • 1Institute for Communications and Navigation, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • *now at: Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency of Indonesia (BMKG), Jakarta, Indonesia

Abstract. This article discusses aspects of communication architecture for early warning systems (EWS) in general and gives details of the specific communication architecture of an early warning system against tsunamis. While its sensors are the "eyes and ears" of a warning system and enable the system to sense physical effects, its communication links and terminals are its "nerves and mouth" which transport measurements and estimates within the system and eventually warnings towards the affected population. Designing the communication architecture of an EWS against tsunamis is particularly challenging. Its sensors are typically very heterogeneous and spread several thousand kilometers apart. They are often located in remote areas and belong to different organizations. Similarly, the geographic spread of the potentially affected population is wide. Moreover, a failure to deliver a warning has fatal consequences. Yet, the communication infrastructure is likely to be affected by the disaster itself. Based on an analysis of the criticality, vulnerability and availability of communication means, we describe the design and implementation of a communication system that employs both terrestrial and satellite communication links. We believe that many of the issues we encountered during our work in the GITEWS project (German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System, Rudloff et al., 2009) on the design and implementation communication architecture are also relevant for other types of warning systems. With this article, we intend to share our insights and lessons learned.

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