The ad hoc Telecommunications Networks program is based in the Resilient Networks Laboratory. The focus of activity is around the research and development activities relating to The Serval Project, which has created software that runs on off-the-shelf mobile phones, enabling them to operate during disaster and in areas lacking the neccessary infrastructure.  It has been demonstrated underground and, as shown here, in the remote Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary in the Australian Outback.

In addition to infrastructure-independent telephony, the Serval Project is also developing distributed and infrastructure-free social networking, situation awareness and mapping tools to enable infrastructure-deprived people and communities to enjoy the benefits of ICT as fully as possible.

This technology has the potential to make significant impact on the lives of those affected by disaster, ermergency, poverty, isolation, or a combination of these.

The Serval Project software has been released as free and open-source software under the GNU General Public License so that it can benefit as many people as possible, without barriers of cost.  While a formal public release is pending, the experimental source-code can be downloaded here.

Other ad hoc networking projects include the fleet of robots developed for MAGIC 2010 and has been extended to also talk to other devices such as the wheelchair used with our Brain Computer Interface.


  • Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen - Programme Leader
  • Romana Challans - Serval Project Inc. User Experience Lead
  • Jennifer Hampton - Serval Project Inc. Project Manager
  • Jeremy Lakeman - Senior Developer & Software Quality Lead
  • Andrew Bettison - Senior Developer
  • Ghassan Al-Nuaimi - PhD Candidate
  • Watcharachai Kongsiriwattana - PhD Candidate, Mesh Routing QoS & Energy Efficiency
  • Thomas Giraud - Exchange Masters Candidate (Messaging)
  • Romain Bochet - Exchange Masters Candidate (Streaming Video)
  • Swapna Palaniswamy - Masters Candidate (WiFi & Device Management)
  • Corey Wallis - Honours Project Student (Mapping and Situation Awareness)
  • Adam Brooke - Honours Project Student (Infrastructure-Free Software Distribution)
  • Roland Harrison - Honours Project Student (Encryption & Protocols)
  • Matthew Abinett - First-year intern
  • Candice Jenkins - First-year intern.

Recent successes

    • New America Foundation AUD$101,000 September 2012
    • New America Foundation AUD$134,000 December 2011
    • NLnet Foundation EUR19,500 (approximately AUD$27,000) for improving the scalability of the BATMAN mesh routing protocol - Sept 2011
    • NLnet Foundation EUR30,000(approximately AUD$43,000) - April 2011
  • Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship  USD$400,000 2011-2012.
  • Flinders University Rural, Remote & Humanitiarian Telecommunications Research Fellowship AUD$360,000 - October 2010
  • New Inventor's Episode Winner and Series Finalist - September 2010
  • Awesome Foundation for Arts & Sciences USD$1,000(approximately AUD $1,200) - May 2010 

Further information

We would be happy to provide more information about the School's research programs, the opportunities for higher degree study and scholarship information. For further information please contact Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen.