Dynamic configuration of distributed systems for disaster management
In natural and man-made disasters, it is a necessity for rescue teams to get a quick overview of the situation in place. Robot-supported sensor networks are increasingly used to accelerate surveillance and search operations in complex situations. An appropriate robust system architecture has to support dynamical changes in connectivity as well as in number and type of robots and sensors in action. The proposed solution for a dynamic configuration of a distributed system with heterogeneous sensors and robots for disaster management is based on the Robot Operating System (ROS). The configuration uses an active Information Module with access to the descriptions of the characteristics and capabilities of all relevant system components. The modular descriptions are based on XML standard. Every component has at least one description file with capabilities of the component and their relevant technical characteristics. Descriptions of complex components containing sub-components are hierarchically with references to descriptions of sub parts. Between the system components direct communication links can be established to make the distributed system more robust. External systems may also get information about available capabilities from the Information Module and request needed services directly from the components. The main task of this work is to introduce a dynamic but robust system architecture for controling complex heterogeneous sensor systems to support rescue forces in disaster relive.