IBM-owned Weather predicts that up to seven major hurricanes will hit the U.S. in 2019, which could trigger natural disasters. In such conditions, the DuckLinks emergency Wi-Fi technology can provide invaluable assistance to victims and rescuers. Hurricane season kicks off in July and the authors of Project Owl are hard at work.
The members of the Project Owl team call their mission “Organization, Navigation and Logistics”. Former hackers, and now official partners of IBM, they once won a programmer competition and gained access to advanced projects of this company. Project Owl specializes in public communications systems in conditions when the usual infrastructure is destroyed - for example, during natural disasters.
The main development of the team is the "ducks" DuckLinks. The idea is drawn from the concept of a rubber baby duck that does not drown even in a storm. These are shockproof, sealed containers of equipment for installing and maintaining wireless communications. In 2017, the team used them for the first time in Puerto Rico after the arrival of Hurricane Maria. Since then, the "ducks" have been dropped from helicopters, glued to cars and boats, tied to trees, run down the drain and tested in dozens of other ways in different climatic conditions.
The goal is to quickly organize coverage over an area of up to 100 sq. Km using cheap transmitters, a Wi-Fi network, to which any user with an ordinary smartphone can connect. People will be able to at least coordinate their actions. And if you lay down a chain of transmitters and connect DuckLinks to serious equipment, you can establish a connection with the global Internet. And all this even in conditions of total destruction, when other types of communication are not available.