Workshop on innovative aerial communication solutions for FIrst REsponders network in emergency scenarios

The ACM International Workshop on innovative aerial communication solutions for FIrst REsponders network in emergency scenarios (iFIRE '19) will be held on July 2, 2019 in Catania, Italy along with the ACM MobiHoc 2019. It will be the first track of the Workshop on aerial communication technologies to cope with public safety issues.

The public safety is a timely topic that has showed its paramount importance after the major human-driven and natural disasters witnessed during the last few years. According to the American Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the majority of the victims in many different scenarios are untrained rescuers and even professional first responders. Accurate information gathered from sensors may allow first-responders and volunteers to make better and faster decisions, understand the situation, identify the rescue actions with higher success probability, correctly allocate resources such as number of ambulances, and prevent or mitigate personal risks. Today, even commonly available technologies, such as cellular phones, could save many lives if properly adopted.

There is a compelling need of exploring the feasibility of new technologies, explicitly designed for working in emergency scenarios. Recently in this wide context, the aerial communication has significantly progressed due to longer battery life-time, new international law regulations and microelectronics evolution with lower prices and higher performance. In particular, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can easily and quickly reach far-away locations, scan carefully the area looking for injured people and autonomously create a communication bridge between first responder networks and victims. However, there are several unaddressed challenges on both communication and computational means that might further improve the reactiveness and efficiency of the first response after a natural disaster or human-driven threat.

The workshop is focused on main upcoming activities about the involvement of UAVs as emergency communication means during emergency situations. It is open to both scientific and industrial communities, and will disclose the latest research achievements in the research field of fine-grained localization, advanced communication between moving objects and optimal UAV-cell coverage. The main motivation is to gather people involved in public safety innovative actions, encompassing both the mathematical frameworks and realistic solutions to bring intelligence and efficiency on board of UAVs.

Call for papers

Authors are invited to submit their original work, including early results and disruptive ideas. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to

  • Integration of aerial recovery networks in 5G New Radio (5G-NR)
  • Design and Implementation of self-organized aerial networks for disaster recovery
  • Mobility and traffic predictions for Disaster recovery networks
  • Edge and Fog computing for the Disaster recovery aerial networks
  • Energy management strategies for public safety networks
  • Trajectory planning and handover management for public safety aerial networks
  • Network slicing for aerial public safety networks to support low-latency response
  • Advanced localization technique using UAVs
  • Age-of-Information aware scheduling for public safety networks
  • Dynamic spectrum allocation and overlay network formation for public safety networks
  • Mobility diversity enhancement mechanisms for UAV networks
  • Experimental case-studies and simulation frameworks for public safety networks
  • Performance characterization for aerial public safety networks
Important dates

Paper Submission: April 7, 2019 April 14, 2019 [FIRM DEADLINE]
Notification of Acceptance: May 5, 2019
Camera-ready Submission: May 12, 2019
Workshop date: July 2, 2019

Submissions guidelines

Prospective authors should submit a paper with a maximum length of six (6) pages, including all figures and references. Papers must be formatted with the ACM style sheet. If you are using LaTeX, you can make use of a simplified ACM conference template. The review is single-blind, that is, the author names should be listed on the submission.

Submissions will be handled through the HotCrp website.

Special workshop format
The goal of this workshop is to allow an active discussion on the topic. To achieve this, the authors of accepted papers are expected to present their work in a 20min talk which is then followed by a 5min discussion phase.


"Exploration robots towards resilient city infrastructure"

Robotic systems can undertake inspection of difficult or dangerous to access locations. This talk will discuss exploration robotics including work to explore the Great Pyramid of Giza Egypt and Survey Glacial melt lakes in Nepal. The use of exploration robotics technologies to inspect and maintain city infrastructure towards resilient and self-repairing city infrastructure (e.g roads, pipes, bridges) will be discussed.

Professor Robert Richardson

Professor of Robotics, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, UK.

Professor Robert Richardson is a Professor of Robotics, in the School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds. As PI and Director of the EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotic systems, he leads a major EPSRC investment to physically create robust robotic devices. He is co-Director and robotics lead for the EPSRC Grand Challenge to develop autonomous infrastructure inspection robots; and the robotics lead for the EPSRC UKCRIC Centre for Infrastructure Materials Performance Leeds investigating robots for inspection of difficult to access infrastructure and facilities to stress test robotic devices. Within the School of Mechanical Engineering at Leeds, he is the director of the Multi-disciplinary Institute of Design, Robotics and Optimisation at the University of Leeds (20 academics and 50 members). He is a Fellow of the IMechE.
He led the UK robotics resilient infrastructure strategic challenge event, on behalf the EPSRC RAS network that brings together international researchers to explore the area of robotics infrastructure research. He is lead author of the UK white paper "Robotic and Autonomous Systems for Resilient Infrastructure" and co-author on the UK white paper "Robotics for Emergency Response, Disaster Relief and Resilience".
In 2011 he led an international team to develop and deploy robots into the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, that discovered writing hidden for 4000 years. In 2016 he developed and deployed autonomous surface water survey robots to map glacial melt lakes in Nepal, doubling the known mapping data of these lakes. He is researching into to a broad range of infrastructure robotics platforms including drone based technologies, novel ground robots including robots designed to enter bore holes in mines and other confined spaces. He is developing novel approaches to fabricate advanced robotic structures using hybrid 3D printing and assembly processes. In close collaboration with industry, he is investigating technologies to replace lost function in humans through the development of smart prosthetic limbs with embedded intelligence to self-tune and capture energy during the walking cycle and full body exoskeletons designed to work collaboratively in direct contact with humans, to enhance physical performance.


Workshop co-chairs
  • Vincenzo Sciancalepore, NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH, Germany
  • Marco di Renzo, CNRS / Paris-Saclay University, France
  • Syed Zaidi, University of Leeds, UK
  • Toktam Mahmoodi, King's College London, UK
TPC Chairs
  • Maurizio Magarini, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • Muhammad Mahtab Alam, Tallin University of Technology, Estonia
  • Xavier Costa-Perez, NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH, Germany
  • Kamesh Namuduri, University of North Texas, USA


Aerial communication technology for FIrst REsponders network in emergency scenarios (iFIRE '19)
will be held on July 2, 2019 in Catania, Italy along with the ACM MobiHoc 2019