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 Smart Computers
21.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>