The Serval Project Wiki

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Serval Mesh

Screenshot of Serval Mesh pre-release 0.90 “Shiny” main screen Serval Mesh is an Android app that provides highly secure mesh networking, voice calls, text messaging and file sharing between mobile phones using Wi-Fi, without the need for a SIM or any other infrastructure like mobile cell towers, Wi-Fi hotspots or Internet access.

Serval Chat

Serval Chat is an iOS app that provides highly secure text messaging between Apple iPhone and iPad devices using Apple's proprietary peer-to-peer wireless network.

Serval Maps

Serval Maps is an Android app that uses Serval Mesh to provide collaborative, infrastructure-independent, geographical mapping.

Serval Mesh Extender (Formerly Mesh Helper)

Pair of Serval Mesh Extenders on bench The Serval Mesh Extender is a hardware device that helps other devices to join and participate in a Serval Mesh network.

Second-Generation Mesh Extenders:

  • powered by external USB, 12v/24v automotive and/or solar (with MTTP tracking charge controller)
  • Integrated LiFEPO4/LiIon/Sealed-Lead-Acid battery charger
  • Custom-designed injection-moulded housing
  • Designed to meet IP66 environmental resistance
  • Integrated “Mesh of Things”/“Internet of Things” I/O port
  • microSD card for bulk storage (reduced power consumption versus USB)
  • Wi-Fi access point (for devices to connect) and ad-hoc Wi-Fi (between Mesh Extenders)
  • RFD900/RFD868 UHF packet radio (up to 4km range line-of-sight, ~200m indoors)
  • Interface to Codan/Barrett HF Radios for very-long-range communications links (support for other radios is also possible)
  • provides a standard Wi-Fi Access Point for nearby devices (such as smart phones) that do not support Ad Hoc Wi-Fi mode
  • offers the Serval Mesh (app for Android) app for Android for download via HTTP so that people can join the Mesh network without having previously installed the app
  • acts as a Rhizome node, storing and forwarding files and MeshMS messages
  • Fully interoperable with first generation Mesh Extenders

First-Generation Mesh Extenders:

  • powered by any external USB power source (5V 500mA)
  • Mesh Extenders mesh together over short distances using Ad Hoc Wi-Fi, and over longer distances using packet radio on the ISM 915 MHz band. Our ad-hoc packet radio system uses the RFD900 long-range UHF radio with custom CSMA firmware.
  • provides a standard Wi-Fi Access Point for nearby devices (such as smart phones) that do not support Ad Hoc Wi-Fi mode
  • offers the Serval Mesh (app for Android) app for Android for download via HTTP so that people can join the Mesh network without having previously installed the app
  • acts as a Rhizome node, storing and forwarding files and MeshMS messages
  • provides a platform for future Serval Project initiatives, such as the commoditisation of many classes of medical monitoring devices.

Trial Deployments & Exercises

The following is a list of past and planned trial deployments and related activities.

  • Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary Demonstrator July 2010
  • Nigeria InterNews Trial Jan 2011
  • KiwiEx 2012 with NZ Red Cross Feb/March 2012
  • KiwiEx 2013 with NZ Red Cross, New America OTI/Commotion and NLnet Foundation Feb/March 2013

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