h a l f b a k e r y
Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.
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A recent story in the news here in Upstate NY led to this idea.
An elderly couple lost control of their car on a remote section of interstate far from local cell coverage area. The gentleman froze to death and his wife barely survived the 36 hour ordeal. They had a fully charged cell phone and were
within 60 feet of the road but due to the terrain and the snow they were not seen.
I propose a cable composed of numerous single, cellular antennas spaced closely together in a long string. These would be connected to small repeater modules at the required intervals for good signal transmission in the central line. Upon detecting a phone operating in emergency/911 mode(a very simple software setting) the cable would receive the signal and relay the call or at least relay its location within the cable if normal bandwidth cannot be achieved(based on the interval and the number of antennas that detected the signal). This would allow SAR personnel to be aware of the approximate location of the transmission even if a complete call could not be achieved.
The big advantage of such a system is that the cable could be manufactured very inexpensively then rolled into a groove in the pavement along the edge of the road. This would allow for desolate stretches of road to have emergency cell system access for a minimal cost without unsightly towers in wilderness areas, or areas where terrain makes towers inefficient(mountainous).
A more developed version perhaps could handle regular traffic on roadways.
||I've never seen a phone that has a specific "emergency
mode". Thus the part of this "Upon detecting a phone
operating in emergency/911 mode" would only work on a
phone that had some weird thing where you push an
"emergency button" on the screen. The way that
emergency personnel find the location of someone who
dialed 911 on a cell phone nowadays (if the person in
trouble was unable to determine the location for whatever
reason) is by "triangulation" (it registers which tower/s the
phone is communicating with, and that gives an
approximate location-something of which is always kept
track of anyhow in order to seamlessly switch a caller from
one tower to the next when they move out of a certain
coverage area, reguardless of the type of call-in the case
of an emergency call, the switching station relays the
approx. location to the computer at the fire station)