Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Faster help for avalanche victims

05.12.2007
Victims buried by an avalanche only have a chance of survival if they can be quickly and precisely located under the snow. A novel position-ing system, which will use the signals of Europe’s future satellite sys-tem ‘Galileo’, is to help improve the search.

It’s the start of the skiing season: Attracted by bright sunshine and fresh snow, winter sports enthusiasts flock to the snow-covered slopes. But for some, the white splendor will prove fatal, especially for those who wander off-piste. Time and again, ski hikers are caught out by avalanches. In the search for buried victims, every minute counts.

If they are not rescued within half an hour of the accident, their chances of survival rapidly decline. The best prospects of success are if uninjured companions immediately start looking for buried members of the group. In order to do this, however, they must be equipped with ‘avalanche beepers’ – and know how to operate them.

A skilled team of mountain and air rescue workers and police can generally perform a far more accurate search. From the helicopter, they can usually locate victims to within about 20 meters while preparing to land. “The main difficulty at present lies in narrowing it down to the last one or two meters,” explains Gerd Waizmann of proTime GmbH. “We intend to improve this fine search with the help of a new, automatic positioning system,” adds Wolfgang Inninger of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Prien. The basis for this will be Europe’s future satellite navigation system Galileo. The project will be implemented by a consortium of regional companies, institutes and universities, and will be sponsored by the German Aerospace Center DLR with funds from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology BMWi.

In order to develop the system, the researchers will use the Galileo Test and Development Environment GATE in Berchtesgaden, where transmitting antennas on six mountain tops simulate Galileo’s signals. These signals – and later the real ones – are to be combined with currently available satellite navigation systems such as America’s GPS, and will also be offset against error estimation and correction signals. “By pooling this multitude of information sources, we will be able to locate avalanche casualties with an accuracy of less than one meter, even in steep terrain,” stresses Inninger. A light, easy-to-use hand set will show search parties the located position and lead them to it. In order to ensure that ‘Galileo SAR Lawine’, as the system is called, meets the requirements of its future users, the rescue workers of the Berchtesgaden mountain rescue service, the German federal police and the Bavarian police are being involved in all the important development phases of the project.

Press Office | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de
http://www.fraunhofer.de/EN/bigimg/2007/md12fo2g.jsp

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale
18.01.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

nachricht Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation
18.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Algorithmen und Wissenschaftliches Rechnen SCAI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>