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
World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world
18.05.2017 | RMIT University
Internet of things made simple: One sensor package does work of many
11.05.2017 | Carnegie Mellon University
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.
Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
16.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.05.2017 | Life Sciences
22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy