Leveraging Edge Computing for Disaster Management and Recovery

 
Disaster Management is Latency Sensitive

Every millisecond is critical in the realm of emergencies and disaster management. The time it takes to analyze, process, communicate, and finalize a decision can become a pivotal point of determining the survival rate and containment outcome. In these unpredictable and urgent scenarios, edge computing solutions and technologies provide key advantages to mitigate and deescalate disasters. In this technical insight article, you will grasp the importance of edge computing and its role to enhance disaster management as well as examples of real-world deployments.

 

Major Trends in Disaster Management and Recovery

Edge AI Computing: The integration of AI and edge computing has pushed the boundaries of disaster management efficiencies with real-time 24/7 monitoring, event detection, and predictive analytics for actionable decision-making insights.

Rise of IT/OT Convergence: When informational and operational technologies are synergized, it establishes a homogenous data ecosystem essential for enhanced interoperability and communication between various disaster management systems.

Network Flexibility & Coverage: The establishment of a dedicated nation-wide wireless network specific to public safety is critical for uninterrupted access to low-latency, high-bandwidth data telemetry.

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Key Benefits of Edge Computing for Disaster Management


Real-Time Data for Actionable Insights

Instantaneous monitoring and real-time alerts allow operators to act swiftly and efficiently in an emergency. Time is of the essence in these events and requires minimal latency to shift the impact of the disaster. Edge computing solutions are deployed on-premises, closer to the source of data generation, to significantly minimize latency and improve reliability when compared to cloud computing.

Enhancing On-site Resourcefulness

In disaster management, resource conservation and efficiency are essential. Edge computing utilizes thoroughly trained AI models and redundant IoT cameras to accurately detect, confirm, and locate early stages of an emergency before it has the potential to becomes devastating.

False alarms strain resources as it requires personnel to physically address these calls and confirm the alarm. Deploying edge solutions, such as AI-powered mobile surveillance systems, mitigates this challenge by allowing operators to monitor and address false alarms.

 

Data-driven Predictive Analytics

Edge computing technologies and solutions not only enhance various disaster management efficiencies, but it also generates valuable real-world data to continuously train AI models and develop accurate analytics. These modernized predictive analytics proactively improve and allow for resources to stay up to date in a rapidly evolving environment.

Empowering Smart City Resilience

Disaster management has embraced digital transformation and integrates edge AI technologies for a smarter infrastructure. Edge computing serves as a cornerstone to laying the foundation of a smart city to enhance its overlaying resources; enhancing a city’s resilience against disasters and emergencies.

 

Leveraging Edge Computers for Disaster Management Deployments

Industrial-grade edge computers play a pivotal role in delivering the necessary processing power, connectivity, data storage, and operational reliability for mission-critical deployments like disaster management. These computing solutions are purpose-built with the utmost durability and longevity for 24/7 uptimes in unconventional environments. Let’s dive into the key features of industrial edge computers and how it benefits disaster management deployments.

Real-Time AI Analytics 

Edge computers are engineered to strategically deploy on-premises, minimizing latency and driving real-time insights. Since disaster management is mission-critical in nature, latency must be minimized for rapid analysis and decision-making. These computing solutions are the driving force to balancing performance, size, and durability to effectively streamline resource-intensive AI workloads at the edge.

 

24/7 Reliability 

Disaster management solutions are typically deployed in remote locations and require 24/7 monitoring capabilities. These applications are expected to operate seamlessly without regular maintenance throughout their entire deployment lifecycle. Edge computers are designed with industrial-grade components and a fanless design to ensure operational reliability in challenging environments. In the case of system malfunctions or failure, various integrated failsafe technologies, such as watchdog reset timers and a dedicated OOB module enable self-recovery or remote accessibility for immediate operability.

High-Speed Wireless Connectivity

The innovation of 5G networks has paved the way for reliable high-bandwidth, low-latency wireless connectivity. Edge computers integrate and leverage 5G connectivity into its system for swift communication over vast distances with minimal response time.

Additionally, the U.S. Congress has recognized the importance of 5G for public safety and established the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) as a dedicated nation-wide 5G network specific for public safety services.

 

Seamless IoT Consolidation 

Thermal imaging cameras, LiDAR sensors, UHD cameras, and many other IoT devices require connectivity to a central unit to relay the incoming data. From M12 waterproof locking connectors to PoE support, edge computers provide the I/O availability, compatibility, and connectivity to drive these various IoT devices for streamlined consolidation.

Tamper-proof Security

Considering the sensitivity of data, edge computers have integrated TPM 2.0 and safety precautions to deter and prevent malicious activity. TPM 2.0 provides cybersecurity and encryption at the root hardware-level, preventing boot up if unauthorized programs or hardware is detected.  

As for data security, a safety locking mechanism safeguards storage devices from malicious activity and accidental incidents. It prevents unintended storage detachment and ensures that only authorized personnel have access to the storage devices.

Scalability 

With varying demand requirements, edge computers provide a straight-forward approach to scalability for seamless expandability. These sophisticated systems remain flexible to integrate additional resources, like data storage, or upgrade performance in response to evolving circumstances without the need for many modifications.



Extensive Support Longevity 

In disaster management deployments, consistency and long-term support is often overlooked. Mid-deployment revisions can disrupt the compatibility of the overall system and cause unnecessary resources to fix. Edge computers utilize components that are purpose-built for embedded use cases and offer long-term support. For example, Intel’s TE processors follow a 15-year product lifecycle roadmap and Windows 11 Enterprise IoT LTSC provide 10 years of stability.



World-Class Safety Certifications

Due to the uncertainties surrounding various claims and overall deployment reliability, safety certifications offer an additional layer of reassurance and peace of mind. These certifications, like UL Listed, prove that the industrial computer has undergone stringent testing and validation for safety standards compliance.

 

 

Core Premio Designs for Rugged Edge Computers

Premio combines both cutting-edge technologies and robust engineering in our edge computers to enhance performance, connectivity, and durability for disaster management deployments. By having a thorough understanding of industry demands and the specific requirements of embedded use cases, Premio has established core design principles to directly address overarching pain points and challenges.

 

Robust Portfolio of Edge Computing Solutions

Understanding that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all' formula for edge deployments, Premio has developed a robust portfolio of edge computers with core building blocks from the board-level to fully ruggedized system-level solutions. In our flagship series, it follows a 3-tier size-to-performance architecture, ranging from ultra-compact IoT gateway solutions to industrial GPU computers for edge AI inferencing. Additionally, Premio provides a range of HMIs for visual data telemetry and an industrial-grade UPS powered by supercapacitor technology.

EDGEBoost Technologies

A unique key differentiator of Premio’s edge computing solutions is the use of proprietary EDGEBoost technologies for seamless modularity and configurability. EDGEBoost technology mitigates the need for costly OEM services by taking a modular approach in I/O connectivity and performance acceleration.

EDGEBoost I/O brackets are found in a majority of Premio edge computers to provide system integrators with customizability to best meet their connectivity requirements. These EDGEBoost I/O modules provide additional PoE support, 10GbE, and such to meet high specification demands that are normally not present in typical edge computers.

 

EDGEBoost Nodes deliver additional performance acceleration through PCIe expandability. Each node variation is tailored to maximize fundamental capabilities in storage, AI inferencing, and/or support for additional add-on expansion cards. Disaster management applications vary in requirements and EDGEBoost Nodes allow for streamlined hardware acceleration.

Latest Semiconductor Technologies

Premio bridges the gap between semiconductor manufacturers and disaster management integrators to liberate a cohesive edge solution with the latest technologies. Edge computers feature high-performance, low-power efficiency, durability, and support longevity by leveraging select processors specific for embedded use cases. Processors such as the latest 13th Gen Intel TE processors utilize a hybrid-core architecture with minimal power utilization and 15-year product support lifecycle.

Built Rugged. Built Ready. 

A fundamental feature of edge computers is to provide operational reliability while deployed in disaster management environments. Our edge computers leverage a fanless design for enhanced durability and hardened longevity.

 

Not only does a fanless design prevent dust, debris, and containments from interfering with sensitive internal components, this turnkey feature offers a plethora of key benefits such as: 

  • Wide operating temperature range (-40 to 70)
  • MIL-STD-810G shock and vibration resistance
  • Wide power input range (9-48VDC)
  • Power protection protocols (OCP, OVP, Reverse Protection)

Ensuring Power Reliability At The Edge

After understanding the demand for a solution to mitigate unpredictable power fluctuations and interference, Premio has developed an industrial-grade supercapacitor UPS. When operating with an industrial computer, it ensures that the computer can operate continuously in unstable power conditions or safely shutdown and promptly save all data in an event of a complete power outage. Supercapacitor technology is considered more industrial-grade and more reliable than the popularly known lithium-ion batteries due to its non-explosive components.

 

 

Real-World Disaster Management Deployments

1. Flood Monitoring

Leveraging real-time computer vision and AI inferencing, flood monitoring systems have given cities valuable predictability and accurate detection of upcoming floods. Utilizing this data and gaining early insight on potential disasters has improved the disaster response readiness of highly vulnerable cities.

 

2. Wildfire Detection

Edge computing solutions such as mobile surveillance trailers are strategically deployed into wildfire-prone locations. These intelligent fire-detection surveillance systems monitor its surroundings and utilize AI inferencing to detect early stages of a threat. Acting similarly to a fire outlook post, it accurately pinpoints the location of the fire and immediately relays response personnel of the event. Read full case study >>

 

3. Fire Protection

Industries handing flammable materials are under constant threat of a major fire. Despite sophisticated fire suppression strategies in place, some events may not be detected in time and grow to be uncontainable. This edge solution delivers both fire detection and suppression on-premises for an active fire response approach to minimize the risk of workers and site safety.

4. Power Reliability

Each second of a power outage or system failure can be detrimental to mission-critical facilities. This mobile microgrid solution revolutionizes the reliance on a power backup generator or grid. Leveraging AI to detect abrupt power fluctuations and outages, the system can swiftly provide backup power without interruptions. This ensures power reliability for essential deployments such as emergency, disaster management, and such. Read full case study >>

 

 

Summary 

Edge computing has pushed innovation and the adoption of digital transformation in disaster management. By gaining real-time insights through on-premises edge AI inferencing and proactively acting before situations escalate, we can forecast and predict what was once deemed unpredictable. Operating behind-the-scenes are edge computers that hold fundamental design principles that enable cutting-edge AI solutions to be seamlessly streamlined, optimized, and reliable in their deployment.