WO2014152104A1 - Shift on the fly mesh network - Google Patents

Shift on the fly mesh network Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2014152104A1
WO2014152104A1 PCT/US2014/026954 US2014026954W WO2014152104A1 WO 2014152104 A1 WO2014152104 A1 WO 2014152104A1 US 2014026954 W US2014026954 W US 2014026954W WO 2014152104 A1 WO2014152104 A1 WO 2014152104A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
node
nodes
configuration
operate
link quality
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PCT/US2014/026954
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Jeremy Vance BARBEE
Wesley Mcchord BARBEE
Original Assignee
Scott Technologies, Inc.
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Publication date
Priority to US201361792037P priority Critical
Priority to US61/792,037 priority
Application filed by Scott Technologies, Inc. filed Critical Scott Technologies, Inc.
Publication of WO2014152104A1 publication Critical patent/WO2014152104A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W52/00Power management, e.g. TPC [Transmission Power Control], power saving or power classes
    • H04W52/02Power saving arrangements
    • H04W52/0209Power saving arrangements in terminal devices
    • H04W52/0261Power saving arrangements in terminal devices managing power supply demand, e.g. depending on battery level
    • H04W52/0274Power saving arrangements in terminal devices managing power supply demand, e.g. depending on battery level by switching on or off the equipment or parts thereof
    • H04W52/0277Power saving arrangements in terminal devices managing power supply demand, e.g. depending on battery level by switching on or off the equipment or parts thereof according to available power supply, e.g. switching off when a low battery condition is detected
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W52/00Power management, e.g. TPC [Transmission Power Control], power saving or power classes
    • H04W52/02Power saving arrangements
    • H04W52/0209Power saving arrangements in terminal devices
    • H04W52/0212Power saving arrangements in terminal devices managed by the network, e.g. network or access point is master and terminal is slave
    • H04W52/0216Power saving arrangements in terminal devices managed by the network, e.g. network or access point is master and terminal is slave using a pre-established activity schedule, e.g. traffic indication frame
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W52/00Power management, e.g. TPC [Transmission Power Control], power saving or power classes
    • H04W52/02Power saving arrangements
    • H04W52/0209Power saving arrangements in terminal devices
    • H04W52/0212Power saving arrangements in terminal devices managed by the network, e.g. network or access point is master and terminal is slave
    • H04W52/0219Power saving arrangements in terminal devices managed by the network, e.g. network or access point is master and terminal is slave where the power saving management affects multiple terminals
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W52/00Power management, e.g. TPC [Transmission Power Control], power saving or power classes
    • H04W52/02Power saving arrangements
    • H04W52/0209Power saving arrangements in terminal devices
    • H04W52/0225Power saving arrangements in terminal devices using monitoring of external events, e.g. the presence of a signal
    • H04W52/0245Power saving arrangements in terminal devices using monitoring of external events, e.g. the presence of a signal according to signal strength
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W84/00Network topologies
    • H04W84/18Self-organising networks, e.g. ad-hoc networks or sensor networks
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/14Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks
    • Y02D70/142Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks in Wireless Local Area Networks [WLAN]
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/14Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks
    • Y02D70/144Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks in Bluetooth and Wireless Personal Area Networks [WPAN]
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/16Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in other wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/162Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in other wireless communication networks in Zigbee networks
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/16Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in other wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/164Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in other wireless communication networks in Satellite Navigation receivers
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/20Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks independent of Radio Access Technologies
    • Y02D70/22Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks independent of Radio Access Technologies in peer-to-peer [P2P], ad hoc and mesh networks

Abstract

A mobile mesh network radio system having a communication arrangement operable to provide two-way communication between the portable nodes and a network base station. The portable nodes can be configured as routers or end nodes by the base station to optimize power consumption or extend range as necessary.

Description

SHIFT ON THE FLY MESH NETWORK

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is entitled to the benefit of, and claims priority to, provisional

U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 61/792,037 filed March 15, 2013 and entitle "SHIFT ON THE FLY MESH NETWORK," the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Traditionally, the equipment carried into hazardous environments (e.g., fires, chemical spills, or the like) by emergency service personnel (e.g., first responders, rescue workers, firefighters, or the like) have been primarily mechanical, with an important piece of equipment being the introduction of respiratory protection devices (e.g., Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus, Industrial breathing sets, Air-pack, or the like). Respiratory protection devices provide the wearer with breathable air in an immediate danger to life and health atmosphere. Conventional respiratory protection devices generally include a face piece, one or more pressurized cylinders or tanks, and a hose. The face piece covers the nose, mouth, and eyes of the wearer and includes a lens for external viewing. The face piece is supplied with air from a hose connected to the tanks. The tank is secured to the body of the wearer by a harness or backpack. One or more gauges are typically supplied to tell the user how much air remains in the tank. During emergency situations, the wearer of the respiratory protection device may become incapacitated requiring assistance from other emergency services personnel.

[0003] To aid in these emergency situations, emergency services personnel have begun carrying a variety of auxiliary safety equipment (e.g., GPS, distress signal unit, automatic distress signal unit, position monitors, personal alarm safety system ("PASS"), or the like) on backpacks or a headgear. The auxiliary safety equipment alerts other emergency services personnel when the wearer is in distress. The auxiliary safety equipment typically includes a motion sensor for monitoring the wearer. If the wearer is motionless for a set amount of time, indicating the wearer is in distress (e.g., a potential injury, debilitating condition, or the like), the auxiliary safety equipment may output alert signals (e.g., an audible or visual alarm) to notify others. The auxiliary safety equipment may also be integrated with a pressure gauge, thus serving multiple functions. The pressure gauge portion of the auxiliary safety equipment may be separated from the motion sensor portion to permit the user to look at the gauge when desired while positioning the motion sensor on the backpack.

[0004] Recently, the auxiliary safety equipment have been configured to communicate within a network formed from a central location. For example, a commercial network uses transmitting PASS devices, each carried by an individual firefighter, to transmit PASS data back to a central base station. However these current systems require constant communication to a central location resulting in limited applicable range for the auxiliary safety equipment.

[0005] Further, mesh networks have been proposed that have a plurality of portable devices and a base station. The portable devices are configured to be carried by emergency services personnel while at an emergency site. The portable devices each have a first transceiver configured to communicate over a first network and a second transceiver configured to communicate over a second network, where the first and second network operate independently of one another. For example, they may have at least one of different first and second carrier frequencies, protocols, channels, and the like. The base station has at least one transceiver for communicating with the portable devices over at least one of the first and second networks. Optionally, the first and second networks may have different transmission characteristics, such as different transmit ranges, power levels, and the like.

[0006] However, mesh networks are very demanding on the battery life of the auxiliary safety equipment.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0007] In an embodiment, a shift on the fly mesh (dynamically shifting) network is provided to be used with a portable battery operated communication system for emergency services personnel (e.g., first responders, rescue workers, firefighters, or the like) coupled to an auxiliary safety equipment (e.g., GPS, distress signal unit, automatic distress signal unit, position monitors, PASS, or the like). Unlike current systems, the subject matter described herein maintains the same effective coverage as obtained when all nodes are routers (e.g., a traditional mesh network) but allows the nodes to configure themselves as end devices dramatically reducing the power required to operate when not being used as a router increasing the battery life of the node.

[0008] In an embodiment, a system (e.g., mobile mesh network system) includes a network base station configured to establish a two-way communication with a plurality of nodes, the network base station instructs at least a first node to operate in a router configuration and at least a second node to operate in an end node configuration based on at least one of a power status associated with the node or the link quality to the network base station. The plurality of nodes are configured to dynamically operate in the end node configuration or in the router configuration such that combinations of the nodes can establish communication links with one another. The system also includes a node monitoring device configured to analyze at least one of the power status associated with the nodes or link quality for the associated links between the combination of the nodes.

[0009] In an embodiment, a method for providing a mobile mesh network is provided.

The method includes providing a network base station and a plurality of nodes that are reconfigurable dynamically to operate in an end node configuration or in a router configuration, establishing two-way communication between the plurality of nodes and the network base station such that combinations of the nodes establish communications links with one another and wherein at least one of the nodes forms a link with the network base station. The method also includes analyzing at least one of power status associated with the nodes or link quality for the associated links between the combinations of the nodes, and instructing at least a first node to operate in the router configuration and at least a second node to operate in the end node configuration based on the at least one of power status or link qualities.

[0010] In an embodiment, the method includes measuring the link quality associated with each of the communication links and reporting the link quality to the network base station.

[0011] In an embodiment, the method includes transmitting configure instructions, from the network base station, to the first and second nodes. The instructions direct the first node to operate in the router configuration and to direct the second node to operate in the end node configuration. [0012] In an embodiment, the method includes determining whether one of the nodes experiences a select level for the associated link quality and designating the one of the nodes as the first node to operate in the router configuration.

[0013] In an embodiment, the method includes iteratively repeating the analyzing and instructing operations. The analyzing and instructing operations reconfigure dynamically the nodes, having at least one of the nodes change a configuration from the end node configuration.

[0014] In an embodiment, the method includes reconfiguring the first node to operate in the end node configuration when the node power status associated with the first node falls below a select level.

[0015] In an embodiment, the method includes reconfiguring the second node to operate in the router configuration when the link quality associated with the first node falls below the link quality associated with the second node.

[0016] In an embodiment, the method includes reconfiguring the second node to operate in the router configuration when the node power status associated with the second node falls below the node power status associated with the first node.

[0017] In an embodiment, the method includes generating a routing table that assigns end node and router configurations to the corresponding nodes, and designates which combinations of the nodes are authorized to establish communication links with one another when the nodes are within range of one another.

[0018] In an embodiment the method includes either updating the routing table to change at least one of a configuration type of the first node from the router to an end node, or the authorization to establish a communication link between the second node and a third node within the link range of the second node. The routing table may be updated whenever a first communication link between the first and second node fails due to the first and second nodes moving apart beyond a link range.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0019] The subject matter described herein will be better understood from reading the following description of non-limiting embodiments, with reference to the attached drawings, wherein below:

[0020] Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of a conventional mesh network;

[0021] Figure 2 is a schematic diagram of a network formed in accordance with an embodiment;

[0022] Figure 3 is a high level block diagram of an embodiment coupled with an auxiliary safety equipment;

[0023] Figure 4 is a high level block diagram of an embodiment of a network base station;

[0024] Figure 5 is a perspective view of an exemplary integrated system of an embodiment carried by an emergency services personnel with the auxiliary safety equipment shown in Figure 1;

[0025] Figure 6 is a schematic diagram of an embodiment with an illustration of node identifications for a router table;

[0026] Figure 7 is an illustration of a router table for the network schematic diagram in

Figure 6;

[0027] Figure 8 illustrates a flowchart of a method for providing a mobile mesh network;

[0028] Figure 9a shows a schematic diagram of an embodiment with a low link quality end node;

[0029] Figure 9b shows a schematic diagram of an embodiment of the present invention with a router group configured to attempt a communication link with the low link quality end node;

[0030] Figure 9c shows a schematic diagram of an embodiment of the present invention with the low link quality end node having two communication links; [0031] Figure 9d shows a schematic diagram of an embodiment of the present invention;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0032] Embodiments of the subject matter described herein relate to a shift on the fly mesh network. Referring now to the drawings, in which like numerals represent like components throughout the several views, embodiments of the subject matter are next described. The following description of the embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.

[0033] Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of a conventional mesh network 100. The conventional mesh network consists of nodes 102 and a network base station 101. The network base station 101 is equipped for two-way or bidirectional communication (e.g., Ethernet, ZigBee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or the like) with the nodes 102. The nodes 102 in the conventional mesh network 100 are permanently configured in a router configuration.

[0034] A node in a router configuration will transmit data captured, measured, or disseminated from the node itself and transmit other data received from at least one other node. Nodes 102 in the router configuration allow the current mesh network 100 to have nodes 102 in two-way communication with the network based station 101 outside a signal range 110 of the network base station 101. This is done by having the nodes 102 form communication links 103 with one another. For example, the node 102a may have two-way communications with the network base station 101 by way of the communication link 103 a with the node 102b, the communication link 103b with the node 102c, and finally the communication link 103c with the network base station 101.

[0035] Unlike a node in a router configuration, a node in an end node ("EN") configuration only transmits data captured, measured, or disseminated from the node itself. Further, nodes in the EN configuration consume less power or current than a node in the router ("RT") configuration. For example, a node in the RT configuration requires about 40 mA of current while a node in the EN configuration requires about 12 mA of current. With continued reference to Figure 1, Figure 2 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary system 200 formed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. [0036] The RT nodes 202 and ENs 205 establish RT-EN communication links 203, and the RT nodes 202 and a network base station ("NBS") 201 establish NBS-RT communication links 207. The RT nodes 202 may establish RT-RT communication links 209 as well and EN 205 may establish NBS-EN communication links 211.

[0037] Rather than all the nodes 102 in the router configuration (as in Figure 1), Figure 2 has a plurality of nodes in either the RT configuration 202 or the EN configuration 205. The NBS 201 is equipped for two-way or bidirectional communication (e.g., Ethernet, ZigBee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or the like) with the nodes 202 and 205. The RT configuration nodes 202 allow the exemplary system 200 to have nodes 202 and 205 outside a signal range 210 of the NBS 201, as well as have a total power or current usage consumption less than the current mesh network 101 illustrated in Figure 1 (e.g., The current mesh network 100 consumed on average 400mA and the exemplary system 200 consumed on average 164mA).

[0038] Figure 3 illustrates a high level block diagram of a node 301 integrated or embedded with an auxiliary safety equipment 300 (e.g., distress signal unit, automatic distress signal unit, position monitors, PASS, or the like). Additionally or alternatively the node 301 may be used independently (e.g., remote repeater) or integrated with other devices (e.g., pressurized air tank, protective clothing, headwear, automobiles, image sensors, thermal imaging camera, gas detection devices, or the like) or physical bodies (e.g., search and rescue dog, body of a person, or the like).

[0039] The auxiliary safety equipment 300 may include an interface system controller

313. The interface system controller 313 may be connected to or interface with a system interface 312. The system interface 312 may include a keyboard, a keypad, buttons, a touchscreen, a monitor, a LCD screen, a gauge, a heads up display, a microphone, a speaker, LEDs, and the like. The interface system controller 313 may receive input commands supplied by the system interface 312. The system interface 312 may be used by an user (e.g., emergency services personnel, firefighter, or the like) to configure the auxiliary safety equipment 300. Further, the system interface 312 may be used by the user to receive alerts, or notifications. The system interface 312 may be used to alert other users. The interface system controller 313 may be connected, communicate with, or coupled to one more sensors 311. The sensors 311 may measure the external environment (e.g., optical sensors, thermal sensors, motion detectors, or the like), the physical characteristics of the user (e.g., accelerometers, altimeter, GPS, digital compass, or the like), and/or the mechanical characteristics of the respiratory protection device (e.g., pressure gauge, or the like).

[0040] The node 301 may include a node control system 303. The node control system

303 manages components of the node 301 in order to respond to instructions (e.g., node configuration), measurements and/or status requests (e.g., node power status, link quality) from a remote location (e.g., a NBS 400 from Figure 4) or locally (e.g., system interface 312). For example, the node control system 303 may configure the node 301 into an EN configuration or a RT configuration after receiving instructions from the NBS 400 (Figure 4). Additionally or alternatively, the node control system 303 may have the node 301 transmit measurements from the sensor 311 after a request from the NBS. The node control system 303 may be coupled, connected, or communicate with a memory module 306, a communication module 304, and/or a node monitor 305.

[0041] While the node 301 is in the RT configuration, the memory module 306 may store, document, or record ENs or RT nodes having communication links with the node 301. The node control system 303 refers to or confirms with the memory module 306 to determine whether the node 301 has permission to transmit data addressed to and/or from nodes other than the node 301. For example, the node 301 may refer to the RT node 202a (Figure 2). The RT node 202a has a communication link 203a with the EN 205a. The RT node 202a receives a data packet originating from the NBS 201 control system addressed to the EN 205a. The node control system 303 compares the memory module 306 to determine whether the RT node 202a has permission to transmit data to the EN 205a. If the node 301 has permission (e.g., the EN 205a is recorded in the memory module 306) the node control system 303 will transmit the data packet to the EN 205a. If the RT node 202a does not have permission (e.g., the EN 205a is not recorded in the memory module 306) the node control system 303 will ignore the data packet and will not transmit to the EN 205a.

[0042] While the node 301 is in the EN configuration the memory module 306 may not have any ENs or RT nodes having communication links with the node 301. In an embodiment, the memory module 306 may have the NBS as a communication link recorded or permitted while the node 301 is in the EN configuration. Additionally or alternatively the memory module 306 may store information received by the node 301 from a remote location (e.g., the NBS 400 from Figure 4).

[0043] The communication module 304 allows the node 301 to communicate (e.g.,

Ethernet, ZigBee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or the like) with other nodes and/or other remote locations (e.g., the NBS 400 from Figure 4, external sensors). The communication module 304 may include or represent an antenna 302 (along with associated transceiver hardware circuitry and/or software applications). For example, the communication module 304 may be used when the node 301 is in an EN configuration to transmit the data that the node has captured, measured, or disseminated. Additionally or alternatively, the communication module 304 in the RT configuration may be used to receive and transmit data that another node has captured, measured, or disseminated.

[0044] In an embodiment, the node control system 303 may instruct the communication module 304 to enter into an EN configuration. For example, the node control system 303 may instruct the communication module 304 to enter a RT configuration. The communication module 304 may access or communicate with the memory module 306 to determine which nodes the communication module 304 should transmit data or data packets to, and which nodes the communication module 304 should ignore. Alternatively or additionally, the node control system 303 may instruct the communication module 304 to enter into an EN configuration from a RT configuration. The communication module 304 may ignore any received data or data packets to and/or from other nodes except for requests or instructions from the NBS. Optionally, the communication module 303 may be configured into an EN configuration or a RT configuration after receiving instructions from a remote location (e.g., the NBS 400 from Figure 4) rather than the node control system.

[0045] The node monitor 305 may assess, measure, determine, and/or analyze internal or external characteristics of the node 301. In an embodiment, the node monitor 305 may measure a battery source 307 (e.g., rechargeable batteries, disposable batteries). The battery source 307 supplies current, voltage, and/or power to the node 301 and the auxiliary safety equipment 300. For example, the node monitor 305 may measure the battery source 307 to determine the power status of the node 301, the remaining charge of the battery source 307, and/or the current output of the battery source 307. The node monitor 305 may output, communicate, or transmit the measurements of the batter source 307 to the node control system 303 which will relay the measurements to a NBS if the power status of the node is requested.

[0046] Additionally or alternatively, the node monitor 305 may measure a link quality

(e.g., signal strength, bit error ratio, signal-plus-noise-plus-distortion to noise-plus distortion ratio, or the like) of the node 301 with other nodes and/or a remote location (e.g. the network base station 400 in Figure 4). For example, the node 301 may be in a RT configuration with a plurality of ENs communicating with the node 301 via communication links. The node monitor 305 may measure the link quality of the communication links. The node monitor 305 may output, communicate, or transmit the link quality measurements to the node control system 303 which will relay the measurements to a NBS if the link quality measurements are requested. Optionally, the node monitor 305 may measure the link quality from data received by the communication module 304. In an embodiment, the node monitor 305 and the communication module 304 may be integrated or combined operatively into a single device. In an embodiment, the node monitor 305 and the node control system 303 may be integrated or combined operatively into a single device. Additionally the node monitor 305 may output, communicate, or transmit the battery source 307 measurements and/or link quality measurements to the communication module 304.

[0047] Figure 4 illustrates a high level block diagram of the NBS 400. The NBS station

400 may communicate with or be operatively coupled to, a computer, a server, another network base station, or the like. The NBS 400 continually monitors the network and the individual node characteristics (e.g., the node configurations, the node power status, the node link qualities).

[0048] For example, the NBS 400 may request a node power status of each node in the network. The node power status may allow the NBS 400 to determine if any RT node may need to configure into an EN in order to conserve and maximize the battery power of the RT node. The power status request of the NBS 400 is sent via communication links from the NBS 400 to the RT nodes, the EN nodes, and/or to EN and RT nodes using subsequent communication links via RT nodes (e.g., the communication link 209, the communication link 203a). The node monitor on each EN and RT node may measure the battery source of the associated node to determine a node power status. The EN may transmit the node power status of the associated EN via the communication link (e.g., the communication link 203, the communication link 211). The RT nodes may transmit the node power status of the associated RT node via the communication link to the NBS 400 (e.g., the communication link 207) and/or a RT node (e.g., the communication link 209). The RT nodes may also transmit the node power status of other nodes (e.g., ENs, other RT nodes) using the communication links with the RT node and the other nodes (e.g., the communication link 203). The NBS 400 may receive the node power status of each node in the network and determine if any RT node needs to re-configure into an EN. If a RT node is determined to have a lower power status, the NBS 400 may instruct an EN with a communication link to the RT node to re-configure into a RT node to resume the communication links lost by the re-configured low power RT node. Optionally, the NBS 400 may use the node power status of the ENs to determine which EN to re-configure into the RT node. For example, the NBS 400 may determine the EN with the highest node power status may be re-configured to a RT node.

[0049] Figure 4 further illustrates that the NBS 400 may include a NBS controller 401 operatively coupled or connected with a memory module 403, a communication module 405, a system interface 402, and/or a node monitor 404.

[0050] The memory module 403 may be used by the NBS controller 401 to store node configurations, node communication links, and node measurements (e.g., Figure 7). The NBS controller 401 may later access the memory module 403 to determine which nodes will need to re-configure into an EN or RT node. In an embodiment, the memory module 403 may be coupled, connected, or communicate with the communication module 405. Additionally or alternatively, the memory module 403 may store information (e.g. measurements) received from a remote location (e.g., the node 301 from Figure 3).

[0051] The communication module 405 allows the NBS controller 401 to communicate

(e.g., Ethernet, ZigBee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or the like) with other nodes and or other remote locations (e.g., a command center, servers, other network base stations, or the like). The communication module 405 may include or represent an antenna 406 (along with associated transceiver hardware circuitry and/or software applications). For example, the communication module 405 may be used to transmit node configuration instructions (e.g., end node configuration, router configuration) to the nodes (e.g., 202, 205). In an embodiment, the communication module 405 may receive measurements (e.g., link quality measurements, power status measurements, sensor measurements) from the nodes (e.g., 202, 205).

[0052] The system interface 402 may include a keyboard, a keypad, buttons, a touchscreen, a monitor, a LCD screen, a gauge, a heads up display, a microphone, a speaker, LEDs, and the like. The NBS controller 401 may receive input commands supplied by the system interface 402. The system interface 402 may be used by an user (e.g., emergency services personnel, network administrator, or the like) to configure the NBS controller 401. For example, the system interface 402 may be used by the user to establish a network (e.g., the exemplary system 200 in Figure 2) by instructing the NBS controller 401 to configure the system nodes (e.g., 202, 205). Additionally, the system interface 402 may be used to notify or alert the user to any received node measurements by the communication module 405.

[0053] The node monitor 404 may assess, measure, determine, or analyze the node measurements received by the communication module 405 (e.g., link quality measurements, power status measurements). In an embodiment, the node monitor 404 may measure or compare the received node measurements (e.g., link quality measurements, power status measurements, sensor measurements) with a select level (e.g. non-zero threshold). For example, the node monitor 404 may communicate, transmit, or output to the NBS controller 401 a node address (e.g., node identification) of the node that transmitted or communicated the analyzed measurements (e.g., link quality measurements, power status measurements, sensor measurements) that were above or below the select level. Additionally or alternatively, the node monitor 404 may measure a link quality (e.g., signal strength, bit error ratio, signal-plus-noise- plus-distortion to noise-plus distortion ratio, or the like) of the nodes (e.g. 202, 205) with the NBS 400 by assessing, measuring, or analyzing the communication links with the node and the communication module 405. [0054] For example, the NBS 400 may request a link quality measurement of each node in the network. The link quality measurements will allow the NBS 400 to determine if any EN is not able to adequately communicate within the network. Upon request by the NBS 400, each EN and RT node will measure the communication links with the associated node. Optionally, the node monitor 404 may measure the communication links of the NBS 400 with any EN or RT nodes. The link quality measurements will be transmitted to the NBS 400. The node monitor 404 will measure or analyze the link quality measurements of the network. If an EN has a low link quality, the NBS 400 will configure other ENs approximate to the EN (e.g., having a communication link with the same RT node) having the low link quality to re-configure into a RT configuration. The proximity of the re-configured RT nodes will increase the likelihood that the link quality of the low link quality EN may improve. In an embodiment, the node monitor 404 and the communication module 405 may be integrated or combined operatively into a single device. In an embodiment, the node monitor 404 and the NBS controller 401 may be integrated or combined operatively into a single device.

[0055] Figure 5 is a perspective view of an exemplary respiratory protection device 500

(e.g., Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus, Industrial breathing sets, Air-pack, or the like) carried by the emergency services personnel (e.g., first responders, firefighters, or the like) using an embodiment of the present invention. As illustrated therein, the respiratory protection device 500 may include a high-pressure air tank 501, mounted on a back pack 502, as well as headgear 503 that is worn on the head of the emergency services personnel and connected to the air tank 501 by an air supply/data line 504. The line 504 supplies breathable air from the air tank 501 to the headgear 503, as well as connect to the auxiliary emergency device 300. The auxiliary emergency device 300 may be carried in a recess in the back pack 502 of the emergency services personnel.

[0056] Figure 6 is a schematic diagram is an embodiment of an exemplary system 600.

The exemplary system 600 includes a NBS 601 and a plurality of RT nodes 602 and a plurality of ENs 603, all with an attributable network identification number (e.g., ID000 of the network base station 601, ID006 of the end node 603a) and communication links 604. [0057] With continued reference to Figure 6, Figure 7 illustrates a routing table 700 of the exemplary system 600. The routing table may assign, record, and/or document the node configurations of the exemplary system 600. Optionally, the routing table may designate or instruct which combination of the nodes (e.g. the router nodes 602, the end nodes 603) are authorized to establish communication links (e.g. communication links 604) with one another. The routing table may be stored and/or recorded within the memory module of the NBS 601 (e.g., the memory module 403 in Figure 4). The routing table 700 may be updated to account for a re-configuration of at least one node from an EN configuration to a RT configuration and vice versa.

[0058] The routing table 700 may include a network ID column 701 for the nodes (e.g., the RT nodes 602, the ENs 603) within the exemplary system 600. The network ID column 701 allows the routing table 700 to assign, with particularity, operating modes for the nodes within the exemplary system 600. The routing table 700 may include a configuration column 702. The configuration column 702 records or assigns the configuration for each node (e.g. EN configuration, RT configuration). The routing table 700 may include a router connection column 703. The router connection column 703 may represent the network ID of the node associated with the communication link 604. For example, the end node 603a (ID005) may establish the communication link 604c with the router node 602c (ID004). Thus, the router connection column 703 may have a router connection of 004 recorded (representing the router node 602a). Optionally, the router connection column 703 may allow the routing table 700 to assess or assign node groups. For example, the router node 602a (ID004) may establish communication links 604c with end nodes 603a, 603b, 603c, and 604d forming a router group 610. The routing table 700 may include columns for node measurements 704 (e.g., the link status of the node, or power status of the node) measured at the node (e.g., the node monitor 305 in Figure 3) and or measured off the node (e.g., the node monitor 404 in Figure 4,).

[0059] The routing table 700 may include a column for permissible or allowed links 705 that the nodes may establish (e.g., the communication links the node may establish with other nodes). For example, an EN may only have one allowed communication link because the EN is configured to only transmit data captured, measured, or disseminated from the node itself. Additionally or alternatively, a RT node may have two or more allowed communication links because the RT node is configured to transmit data captured, measured, or disseminated from the node itself and transmit other data received from at least one other node.

[0060] For example, a RT node 706 has two allowed communication links (e.g., 000,

004) under the column for allowed links 705. The routing table 700 may be stored on the memory module 306 (Figure 3) within the RT node 706. The RT node 706 will refer to the memory module 306 to determine whether the RT node 706 has permission to transmit date addressed to and/or sourced from nodes other than the RT node 706. The RT node 706 receives a data packet sent from the NBS. The data packet contains a header. The header informs the RT node the data packet is intended for an EN 709 with a network ID of 003. The RT node 706 may refer to the routing table 700, and determine that the RT node 706 does not have permission to transmit and should ignore the data packet.

[0061] In another example, the RT node 706 receives a data packet from the NBS with a header. The header informs the RT node 706 the data packets is intended for a node with a network ID 004. The RT node 706 may refer to the routing table 700, and determine that the RT node 706 has permission to transmit the data packet to the node with the network ID of 004. The RT node 706 may transmit the data packet.

[0062] In another example, the RT node 706 receives a data packet from the NBS with a header informing the RT node 706 the data packet is intended for an EN 708 with a network ID of 005. In order for the EN 708 to receive the data packet, the data packet may be transmitted from the RT node 706 and re-transmitted by a RT node 707. The RT node 706 may refer to the routing table 700 and determine whether the RT node 706 has permission to transmit the data packet for EN 708. The RT node 706 may refer to the router connection column 703. The RT node 706 may refer to the router connection column 703 for the EN 708 and determine that the RT node 707 has a communication link with EN 708. The RT node 706 may refer to the router connection column 703 for the RT node 707 and determine the RT node 706 has permission to transmit to the RT node 707. The RT node 706 may transmit the data packet. The data packet may be received by the RT node 707 with the header informing the RT node 707 the data packet is intended for an EN 708. The RT node 707 will refer to the router connection column 703 and the allowed links column 705. The RT node 707 will determine the EN 708 is an allowed communication link and will transmit the data packet to the EN 708.

[0063] Additionally or alternatively, the NBS may include RT node information within a data packet. For example, the RT node 706 may receive a data packet from the NBS with a header. The header informs the RT node 706 the data packet is intended for the EN 708 having a communication link with the RT node 707. The RT node 706 may refer to the allowed links column 705 to determine whether the RT node 706 has permission to transmit to either the EN 708 or the RT node 707. The RT node 706 has permission to transmit to the RT node 707 and may transmit the data packet. The data packet may be received by the RT node 707 with the header informing the RT node 707 the data packet is intended for an EN 708 having the communication link with the RT node 707. The RT node 707, identified as the RT node in the header, may transmit the data packet to the EN 708.

[0064] Figure 8 illustrates a flowchart of a method 800 for providing a mobile mesh network. The method 800 may be used to create a software algorithm, package, or system that can be used to direct one or more hardware circuits or circuitry to perform the actions described herein. For example, the operations of the method 800 may represent actions to be performed by one or more circuits that include or are connected with processors, microprocessors, controllers, microcontrollers, Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), or other logjc-based devices that operate using instructions stored on a tangible and non-transitory computer readable medium (e.g., a computer hard drive, ROM, RAM, EEPROM, flash drive, or the like), such as software, and/or that operate based on instructions that are hardwired into the logic of the. At least one technical effect of the methods described herein includes the creation of a mobile mesh network with a plurality nodes configured to dynamically operate in an end node configuration or a router configuration such that combinations of the nodes can establish communication links with one another, and a network base station configured to establish a two-way communication with the plurality of nodes such that the network base station forms a link with at least one of the nodes.

[0065] At 801 , two-way communication is established between the plurality of nodes and the NBS. For example, the NBS 201, the RTs 202, and ENs 205 undergo an initial handshaking exchange to establish an initial combination of two-way communication links with one another. The links may be established automatically. Optionally, the links may be established under control by a user (e.g., emergency services personnel, network administrator) using the system interface 402 to input instructions to the NBS controller 401. The NBS controller 401, in accordance with the user input instructions, may output or communicate configuration instructions to the communication module 405. The communication module 405 may transmit, communicate, or output the instructions input by the user to the plurality of nodes (e.g., the node 301 in Figure 3). Additionally or alternatively, the NBS controller 401 may receive the input instructions from an initial routing table (e.g., the routing table 700 in Figure 7).

[0066] At 802, the method analyzes the power status of the plurality of nodes from the collect power information. For example, the NBS 201 requests power information from every node 202, 205. The power information may include current battery level power status, past usage over time, select demand events, and the like. The NBS 201 collects the power information from each of the nodes 202, 205. The node monitor 404 may perform the analysis by measuring, determining, or calculating the power status of the plurality of nodes using the power information received by the communication device 405 from the nodes 202, 205. Alternatively or additionally, the power status calculation may be done by the node monitor 305 in Figure 3. The node monitor 305 may measure the battery source 307 and communicate, transmit, or output the power status measurements for the node 301 to a network base station (e.g. the NBS 201). The NBS 201 may then compare the power status measurements of the plurality of nodes to determine whether any nodes will need to be configured to either an EN or a RT node to optimize the power usage of the system.

[0067] At 803, the method determines whether any RT node (e.g., 205) has a low power status. In an embodiment, the power status of the plurality of nodes (e.g., 202, 205) may be compared or measured against a select level or range and/or pre-determined threshold power status. The select level or range may be automatically set when the network is established (e.g., stored in the routing table 700 in Figure 7). Optionally, the select level may be input by a user (e.g., emergency services personnel, network administrator) when the two-way communication between the plurality of nodes and the NBS is established at 801. Nodes 202, 205 may be designated to have full acceptable, low, failing, or no power status based on various criteria, such as a current power level relative to fully charged, a current power level relative to other nodes 202, 205, and the like. The low power status may dynamically change based on the power status of the plurality of nodes. For example, a low power status may be determined if the power status of a select node is low relative to other nodes, such as in a bottom twenty-five percent power status of all nodes in the network. Additionally or alternatively, the low power status may be determined by the node monitor 305 in Figure 3. For example, the node monitor 305 may measure the battery source 307 and compare the current power level relative to fully charged, the current power level to a select level input by the user, and the like. The node monitor 305 may communicate, transmit, or output the power status measurement for the node (202, 205) to a NBS.

[0068] At 804, an end node within a low power router group is instructed to re-configure to a RT node. The low power RT group may be a plurality of ENs having a communication link with a RT node measured to have a low power status. For example, a NBS determined a RT node 602a has a low power status at 60% of full battery charge (under the node measurement column 704). Referring to the router connection column 703, all nodes with a router connection to the RT node 602a, are a part of a low power RT group 610. (e.g., end nodes 603a, 603b, 603c, 603d). The routing table 700 may change the node configuration under the configuration column 702 of at least one end node to a router configuration. Optionally, the NBS controller 401 (Figure 4) may monitor the routing table 700 and instruct at least one of the nodes in the router group 610 to re-configure to match the node configuration corresponding to the configuration column 702 of the routing table 700. In an embodiment, the routing table 700 may prioritize an end node within the router group 610 with the highest power status to be configured as a RT node (e.g., 603d). In an embodiment, the NBS controller 401 (Figure 4) may instruct the EN (e.g. 603d) to re-configure into a RT configuration and instruct the routing table 700 to update or change the configuration column 702 to match the current configuration of the EN.

[0069] At 805 and 806, respectively, a low power router node is instructed to reconfigure as an EN, and the routing table is updated. For example, the routing table 700 may change the configuration of the RT node 602a to an EN. Optionally, the NBS controller 401 (Figure 4) may monitor the routing table 700 and instruct the RT node 602a to re-configure to operate as an EN to match the node configuration corresponding to the configuration column 702 of the routing table 700. In an embodiment, the NBS controller 401 (Figure 4) may instruct the low power node (e.g. the RT node 602a) to configure to operate as an EN configuration and update or change the configuration stored in the configuration column 702 for the low power node.

[0070] At 807, the method analyzes a link quality of the plurality of nodes. For example, the node monitor 404 may analyze a link quality by measuring, determining, or calculating the link quality of nodes using data received by the communication device 405. Alternatively or additionally this may be done by the node monitor 305 in Figure 3. The node monitor 305 may measure the link quality and communicate, transmit, or output the link quality measurements for the node 301 to a NBS (e.g. 400). The NBS may then compare the link quality measurements of the plurality of nodes. In an embodiment the link quality may be measured using a received signal strength indicator ("RSSF'), a percentage of packets received, or the like.

[0071] For example, a node monitor (e.g., 305, 404) may measure a power level of a communication link established with a node and/or NBS received by a communication device (e.g., 304, 405). The node monitor may compare the power level measured at the communication device with a select level to determine a RSSI for the communication link. The select level may be automatically set when the network is established. Optionally, the select level may be input by a user (e.g., emergency services personnel, network administrator) when the two-way communication between the plurality of nodes and the network base station is established at 801. The link quality of the communication link may be determined by comparing the RSSI to a select level or threshold.

[0072] In another example, the node monitor 404 of a NBS may monitor a percentage of data packets lost for each node that did not receive an intended data packet transmitted from the communication device 405. The NBS may record a count of the data packets lost and a count of the number of packets transmitted to the node in the routing table 700 or the memory module 403. The NBS may determine a link quality by comparing the percentage of data packets lost with a select level. The select level may be automatically set when the network is established. Optionally, the select level may be input by a user (e.g., emergency services personnel, network administrator) when the two-way communication between the plurality of nodes and the network base station is established at 801. Optionally the percentage of lost data packets may be determined by a RT node by recording (e.g., using the routing table 700 and/or the memory module 306) a count of the data packets lost and a count of the number of packets transmitted to another node by the RT node. The RT node may transmit the counts of data packets and or a percentage of lost data packets to the NBS to determine a link quality.

[0073] At 808, the method determines whether any link quality of an end node is low. In an embodiment, the link quality of nodes may be compared or measured against a select level and/or pre-determined threshold link quality. The select level may be created when the network is established (e.g., stored in the routing table 700 in Figure 7). Optionally, the select level may be inputted by a user (e.g., emergency services personnel, network administrator) when the two- way communication between the plurality of nodes and the network base station is established at 801. Additionally or alternatively, the link quality may be determined by the node monitor 305 in Figure 3. Optionally, the link quality may be determined by the node monitor 404.

[0074] At 809, the method instructs ENs of a low link EN RT group to re-configure to

RT nodes. The low link EN RT group may be a plurality of ENs having a communication link with a RT node where one of the ENs has a low link quality. For example, an exemplary network 900 contains a NBS 901 and a plurality of nodes. A RT group 902 contains nodes outside a signal range 910 of the NBS 901 as well as a low link quality EN 903. A low link quality communication link 904 connects a RT node 911 with the low link quality EN 903. The network base station 901 may instruct all of the ENs in the RT group 902 to re-configure as RT nodes. In an embodiment, the routing table 700 (Figure 7) may change the configuration under the configuration column 702 (Figure 7) of at least one of these ENs to a RT configuration. Optionally, the NBS controller 401 (Figure 4) may monitor the routing table 700 and instruct at least one of the end nodes in the RT group 902 to configure to match the node configuration recorded in to the configuration column 702 of the routing table 700.

[0075] At 810, the method analyzes the link quality of a low link EN. And at 811, the method determines whether the link quality of the low link EN improved. For example, the NBS 901 (Figure 9b) may analyze the link quality of the low link EN 903. The NBS 901 may determine an improvement in the link quality based on comparing the link quality measurement in the measurement column 704 (Figure 7) within the routing table 701 (Figure 7) before and after step 809. Optionally, the NBS 901 may further compare the link quality against the threshold or select level used in step 808.

[0076] At 813, the method instructs remaining end nodes to re-configure to router nodes.

For example, the network base station 901 (Figure 9c) may instruct the remaining end nodes 907a and 908a (Figure 9b) of the exemplary network 900 to reconfigure as RT nodes 907b and 908b.

[0077] At 812 and 814, the method instructs RT nodes not having a highest link quality with the low link EN to re-configure to a previous configuration, and update the router table. The highest link quality may be determined by comparing the communication link quality of the EN with the RT nodes. The RT node having a greater link quality with the EN relative to the other RT nodes may have the highest link quality. For example, the low link quality EN 903 (Figure 9c) has two communication links, 905 and 906. The NBS 901 may determine the highest link quality for the two communication links 905 and 906 by comparing the link quality measurements within a routing table. The network base station 901 may determine the communication link 905 has the highest link quality. The network base station 901 may instruct the remaining nodes to return to the previous configuration at step 807 resulting in an exemplary network 920 in Figure 9d. Additionally or alternatively, the NBS 901 may store, change, or update a routing table (e.g., the routing table 700 in Figure 3) with the new node configurations. Optionally, the RT nodes 907b and 908b may measure the link quality of the originating communication link 905 and 906 respectively transmitting, commumcating, or sending the measurements to the NBS 901.

[0078] The interface system controller 313, the node control system 303, the node monitor 305, the node monitor 404, and/or the NBS controller 401 may include or represent hardware circuits or circuitry that include and/or are connected with one or more logic based devices, such as processors, microprocessors, controllers, microcontrollers, or other logic based devices (and/or associated hardware, circuitry, and/or software stored on a tangible and non- transitory computer readable medium or memory). [0079] The memory module 306, the memory module 403, and/or the routing table 700 may include or represent one or more memories (e.g., a tangible and non-transitory computer readable memory, such as a computer hard drive, EEPROM, ROM, RAM, or the like) having a table, list, database, or other memory structure used to store information used in conjunction with performing one or more of the methods described herein.

[0080J One or more of the operations described above in connection with the methods may be performed using one or more processors. The different devices in the systems described herein may represent one or more processors, and two or more of these devices may include at least one of the same processors. In one embodiment, the operations described herein may represent actions performed when one or more processors (e.g., of the devices described herein) are hardwired to perform the methods or portions of the methods described herein, and/or when the processors (e.g., of the devices described herein) operate according to one or more software programs that are written by one or more persons of ordinary skill in the art to perform the operations described in connection with the methods.

[0081] It is to be understood that the above description is intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. For example, the above-described embodiments (and/or aspects thereof) may be used in combination with each other. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the inventive subject matter without departing from its scope. While the dimensions and types of materials described herein are intended to define the parameters of the inventive subject matter, they are by no means limiting and are exemplary embodiments. Many other embodiments will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art upon reviewing the above description. The scope of the inventive subject matter should, therefore, be determined with reference to the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled. In the appended claims, the terms "including" and "in which" are used as the plain-English equivalents of the respective terms "comprising" and "wherein." Moreover, in the following claims, the terms "first," "second," and "third," etc. are used merely as labels, and are not intended to impose numerical requirements on their objects. Further, the limitations of the following claims are not written in means-plus-function format and are not intended to be interpreted based on 35 U.S.C. § 112, sixth paragraph, unless and until such claim limitations expressly use the phrase "means for" followed by a statement of function void of further structure.

[0082] This written description uses examples to disclose several embodiments of the inventive subject matter and also to enable a person of ordinary skill in the art to practice the embodiments of the inventive subject matter, including making and using any devices or systems and performing any incorporated methods. The patentable scope of the inventive subject matter is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those of ordinary skill in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal languages of the claims.

[0083] The foregoing description of certain embodiments of the inventive subject matter will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. To the extent that the figures illustrate diagrams of the functional blocks of various embodiments, the functional blocks are not necessarily indicative of the division between hardware circuitry. Thus, for example, one or more of the functional blocks (for example, processors or memories) may be implemented in a single piece of hardware (for example, a general purpose signal processor, microcontroller, random access memory, hard disk, and the like). Similarly, the programs may be stand-alone programs, may be incorporated as subroutines in an operating system, may be functions in an installed software package, and the like. The various embodiments are not limited to the arrangements and instrumentality shown in the drawings.

[0084] As used herein, an element or step recited in the singular and proceeded with the word "a" or "an" should be understood as not excluding plural of said elements or steps, unless such exclusion is explicitly stated. Furthermore, references to "one embodiment" of the inventive subject matter are not intended to be interpreted as excluding the existence of additional embodiments that also incorporate the recited features. Moreover, unless explicitly stated to the contrary, embodiments "comprising," "including," or "having" an element or a plurality of elements having a particular property may include additional such elements not having that property.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED:
1. A mobile mesh network system, comprising:
a plurality of nodes configured to dynamically operate in an end node configuration or in a router configuration such that combinations of the nodes can establish communication links with one another;
a network base station comprising a node monitor and a transceiver, the network base station is configured to establish a two-way communication with the plurality of nodes, wherein the network base station forms a link with at least one of the nodes;
the node monitor configured to analyze at least one of power status associated with the nodes or link quality for the associated communication links between the combination of the nodes; and
the network base station configured to instruct at least a first node to operate in the router configuration and at least a second node to operate in the end node configuration based on at least one of power status or link quality associated with the nodes.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the link quality associated with each of the communication links is measured at the nodes and the nodes report the link quality to the network base station.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the node monitor determines a one of the nodes that experience a select level for the associated link quality and designating the one of the nodes as the first node to operate in the router configuration.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the node monitor analyzing operation and the network base station node instruction are iteratively repeating to reconfigure dynamically the nodes to change a configuration of at least one of the nodes from the end node configuration to the router configuration.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the first node is reconfigured to operate in the end node configuration when the node power status associated with the first node falls below a select level.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the second node is reconfigured to operate in the router configuration when the link quality associated with the first node falls below the link quality associated with the second node.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein the second node is reconfigured to operate in the router configuration when the node power status associated with the second node falls below the node power status associated with the first node.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein the network base station is configured to generate a routing table, the routing table assigns end node and router configurations to the corresponding nodes, the routing table designates which combination of the nodes are authorized to establish communication links with one another when within range of one another.
9. The system of claim 8, wherein the first communication links between the first and second nodes fails when the first and second nodes move apart beyond a link range, the routing table is configured to update when the first communication link fails by changing at least one of i) a configuration type of the first node from the router to an end node; or ii) the authorization to establish a communication link between the second node and a third node within the link range of the second node.
10. The system of claim 1, wherein at least one of the nodes is operatively coupled to a Personal Alert Safety System.
11. A method for providing a mobile mesh network, the method comprising:
providing a network base station and a plurality of nodes, where the nodes are reconfigurable dynamically to operate in an end node configuration or in a router configuration; establishing two-way communication between the plurality of nodes and the network base station, wherein combinations of the nodes establish communications links with one another and wherein at least one of the nodes forms a link with the network base station;
analyzing at least one of power status associated with the nodes or link quality for the associated links between the combinations of the nodes; and
instructing at least a first node to operate in the router configuration and at least a second node to operate in the end node configuration based on the at least one of power status or link quality associated with the nodes.
12. The method of claim 11, further comprising measuring, at the nodes, the link quality associated with each of the communications links and reporting the link quality to the network base station.
13. The method of claim 11, wherein the instructing further comprises transmitting configure instructions, from the network base station, to the first and second nodes to direct the first node to operate in the router configuration and to direct the second node to operate in the end node configuration.
14. The method of claim 11, wherein the analyzing further comprises determining a one of the nodes that experiences a select level for the associated link quality and designating the one of the nodes as the first node to operate in the router configuration.
15. The method of claim 11, further comprising iteratively repeating the analyzing and instructing operations to reconfigure dynamically the nodes to change a configuration of at least one of the nodes from the end node configuration to the router configuration.
16. The method of claim 11, further comprising reconfiguring the first node to operate in the end node configuration when the node power status associated with the first node falls below a select level.
17. The method of claim 11, further comprising reconfiguring the second node to operate in the router configuration when the link quality associated with the first node falls below the link quality associated with the second node.
18. The method of claim 11, further comprising reconfiguring the second node to operate in the router configuration when the node power status associated with the second node falls below the node power status associated with the first node.
19. The method of claim 11, further comprising generating a routing table that assigns end node and router configurations to the corresponding nodes and that designates which combinations of the nodes are authorized to establish communication links with one another when within range of one another.
20. The method of claim 19, wherein a first communications links between the first and second nodes fails when the first and second nodes move apart beyond a link range, the method further comprising updating the routing table to change at least one of i) a configuration type of the first node from the router to an end node; or ii) the authorization to establish a communication link between the second node and a third node within the link range of the second node.
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