Method to Locate Survivors Post-Hazard Using Their Cellular Devices


Available for Licensing

IP Status

US Utility Patent Pending (Not Yet Published)


Alaa Alsaeedy
Edwin Chong

At A Glance

​Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a method to find and locate potential disaster victims by locating their cellular devices without heir explicit help, utilizing reference signal received power (RSRP) inherent to these devices, accessible with limited or absent wireless coverage available.

Methods and algorithms are proprietary.  Please contact our office for more details.

Licensing Director

Tech Mgr: TBD

Reference No.:  2020-066


​The commercial cellular networks play vital role in the effectiveness of life rescue operations after disasters strike, enabling first response agencies to exchange information during emergency situations and hence prioritize their operations to save lives and manage the available resources. Essentially, disaster victims can use their cellular mobile device (also called user equipment (UE)) for video streaming, making texts/calls, and even location sharing wherever they are located in disaster-impacted areas. However, the infrastructure of these networks can be devastated partially or completely by natural disasters (or attacks). Additionally, survivors might be unable to use their UEs for telecommunication after a disaster due to injuries or unconsciousness.  In this case, the cellular coverage becomes very limited or no longer available, leaving both the disaster victims and first responders isolated and unreachable.

  • UEs utilized can be basic phones, smartphones/watches, or tablets to even more sophisticated devices for monitoring biometrics
  • Quickly locate survivors stuck in disaster areas, without the ability to access cellular service, or are impaired in doing so
  • Capable of decreasing time to locate survivors by search teams and paramedics

A. R. Alsaeedy and E. K. P. Chong, “Survivor-centric network recovery for search-and-rescue operations,” in Proceedings of Resilience Week (ResWeek) 2019 Symposium, SanAntonio, TX, November 4–7, 2019. Best Paper winner.

Alsaeedy, A.A.R., and E.K.P. Chong. “5G And UAVs for Mission-Critical Communications: Swift Network Recovery for Search-and-Rescue Operations.” Mobile Networks and Applications, Springer US, 5 May 2020,

A. R. Alsaeedy and E. K. P. Chong, “Post-Hazard Cellular Network Recovery by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and User Equipment Cooperation,” IEEE IT Professional Magazine,special Issue on Communications Recovery and Resilience (submitted for review).

Last updated: June 2020
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