Estimating cellular network performance during hurricanes Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Cellular networks serve a critical role during and immediately after a hurricane, allowing citizens to contact emergency services when land-line communication is lost and serving as a backup communication channel for emergency responders. However, due to their ubiquitous deployment and limited design for extreme loading events, basic network elements, such as cellular towers and antennas are prone to failures during adverse weather conditions such as hurricanes. Accordingly, a systematic and computationally feasible approach is required for assessing and improving the reliability of cellular networks during hurricanes. In this paper we develop a new multi-disciplinary approach to efficiently and accurately assess cellular network reliability during hurricanes. We show how the performance of a cellular network during and immediately after future hurricanes can be estimated based on a combination of hurricane wind field models, structural reliability analysis, Monte Carlo simulation, and cellular network models and simulation tools. We then demonstrate the use of this approach for assessing the improvement in system reliability that can be achieved with discrete topological changes in the system. Our results suggest that adding redundancy, particularly through a mesh topology or through the addition of an optical fiber ring around the perimeter of the system can be an effective way to significantly increase the reliability of some cellular systems during hurricanes. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Booker, G., Torres, J., Guikema, S., Sprintson, A., & Brumbelow, K.

citation count

  • 11

publication date

  • April 2010