VERN is an acronym for Volunteer Emergency Radio Network.
Project VERN is a volunteer-driven human rights public safety communications technology research & development effort, sponsored since 2014 by the nonprofit CryptoRights Foundation, Inc. (CRF) as part of CRF’s ‘Harmless Little Project‘ (HLP) R&D platform.
The goal of Project VERN is a “Community Safety Communications Toolkit” that includes: community safety organizing tools (e.g. documentation and configuration wizards for people who want a local emergency radio service); rooftop radio hardware designs powered by the Sun and; free and open source radio mesh network software, including community public safety and information broadcasting with software defined radio components.
We want any small-to-large group of people, from a family to a small nonprofit org, township or urban neighborhood community, to be able to unite for any public purpose and organize themselves through a privacy-enhanced network. People who can talk to each other, even when normal communications media are unavailable, can overcome the adverse effects of powerful external events.
CAVERN (aka VERN Phase 1)
Update / July 2021: Phase 1 of the VERN Project, aka “CAVERN”, is now complete. Please visit VERN.org for Phase 2 of the project and please make a tax-deductible donate to our public benefit work at our sponsor’s R&D hub at the Harmless Little Project website.
CAVERN was the Cobb Area Volunteer Emergency Radio Network a VERN Phase 1 research project from 2018-2021 (now complete).
The Cobb Mountain area in northern California was the location for testing various prototype VERN systems and finding people for a future radio mesh prototype network. CRF analyzed and experimented with RF radio transmissions in the mountainous terrain around Cobb, as well as investigating ways to effectively organize the Cobb community, still wrestling with the aftereffects of major wildfire disasters and facing future dangers from fires and other extreme climate & weather trends.
Over 200 Cobb area residents became CAVERN members, learning how to use basic handheld FRS and GMRS radios to organize community preparedness, rapidly respond to natural disasters or emergencies like wildfires or powerful storms and follow up afterwards with recovery efforts.
FRS: Family Radio Service (unlicensed, short range).
GMRS: General Mobile Radio Service (licensed, medium range).