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 Bursting the clouds for better communication
18.10.2018 | Université de Genève

nachricht Research on light-matter interaction could improve electronic and optoelectronic devices
11.10.2018 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

RUDN chemist tested a new nanocatalyst for obtaining hydrogen

18.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Massive organism is crashing on our watch

18.10.2018 | Earth Sciences

Electrical enhancement: Engineers speed up electrons in semiconductors

18.10.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>