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Distributed Sensor Systems: Practice and Applications by Jose M. Alcaraz Calero, Habib F. Rashvand

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Chapter 7

Public Safety Applications

Public safety involves the detection, prevention and protection from events that could endanger the safety of the general public causing a significant danger, injury, or damage. Earthquakes, cyber attacks, terrorism, forest fires, health diseases caused by environmental dangers such as lethal toxins, virus or chemical components are some of the events which would put public safety at risk.

In general, public safety refers to events that potentially could affect significantly the health of the population. For this reason, governments give careful attention to research and development initiatives focused on the prevention and protection of this kind of event. Indeed, according to the official web page of Hennepin Country, Minnesota (County, 2011), chosen as a mere example, the public safety operating budget for 2011 is 16.3% out of the total country budget. These numbers provide us with an indication of the importance of the design and implementation of effective infrastructures and systems for ensuring citizen safety.

There are a significant number of applications and networks specifically designed for ensuring and protecting public safety nowadays. These systems are generally composed of a set of interconnected devices in charge of detecting, preventing, protecting and alerting of dangerous events as fast as possible.

A public safety network is divided into three zones clearly differentiated as can be seen in Figure 7.1: Reception, Distribution ...

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