Study of portable infrastructure-free cell phone detector for disaster relief

Shi Yang Tang, Xue Ming Shu, Shi Fei Shen, Zhang Hua Li, Si Yang Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In disaster relief, especially in the rescue of serious disaster like great earthquake or tsunami, detecting the exact location of survivors via portable devices can greatly improve the efficiency of search and rescue work. A novel infrastructure-free cell phone positioning system based on software-defined radio, virtual base transceiver station software and its running scheme is proposed in this paper. The identification information of cell phones, receive signal strength and signal transceiver power data can be collected by this system. By using customized antennas with new positioning method, the proposed system can indicate the location of survivals trapped under debris without any operation on cell phones by survivors. With the new hybrid algorithm, search radius of the system can reach more than 1.2 km. And it is also able to implement accurate positioning by this system at the same time. Experimental results demonstrated that the system has significantly improved performance over the traditional methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-464
Number of pages12
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Disaster relief
  • OpenBTS
  • Positioning
  • cell phone detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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