A large number of escalating natural threats (earthquakes, wildfires, winter storms, Wooding, tsunamis) make our regional communication infrastructures vulnerable to outages. In support of the Climate Action Plan, CSU is being asked to look at opportunities for increased regional resiliency.
This project created two proof of concept mesh networking packages and provided documentations for other campuses who wished to adopt them. In the first proof of concept, Humboldt State deployed a solar powered wireless (2.4 and 5ghz) mesh using Aruba equipment. This type of mesh distribution core allows the distributed community to retain some internal communication capacity through a complete regional blackout and can facilitate sharing of limited uplink bandwidth if one of the physically diverse links was still active.
The second proof of concept was a reference design using commodity hardware that individual families and neighborhoods could easily construct for deployment after a disaster if communication goes down. The project hired student interns to integrate open source packages with a hardware set of a wireless router, raspberry pi, solar panel, batteries, and a USB hub into emergency mesh nodes.
Josh Callahan, Humboldt State University