Australian SAR agencies can utilise phones as rescue beacons

Thursday, 16 June, 2022

Australian SAR agencies can utilise phones as rescue beacons

Mobile phones can pinpoint locations of people who are lost and offer an opportunity to augment search and rescue (SAR) services in Australia, according to Kim Blacker, managing director and founder of Stratelo. Blacker will make a presentation on SAR technology innovation at AAUS Rotortech 2022 Conference in Brisbane.

With Australia’s vast territory, often unforgiving climate and largely unpopulated interior, SAR is a key service, pulling together a range of agencies including commonwealth, federal and state, across civilian, police and defence resources. Blacker will explain how an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) mounted cellular search and rescue solution can use a mobile phone as a rescue beacon to quickly and inexpensively geolocate the person(s) of interest and, if they are conscious and able, communicate with them.

Cellular-based search and rescue tools such as Smith Myers’ Artemis can weigh as little as half a kilogram and have been integrated onto relatively inexpensive commercial UAVs through to larger air-certified systems for manned fixed and rotary winged aircraft. Use cases spotlighted in the presentation include search and rescue, disaster relief and border security.

Points covered in the presentation include geolocation techniques and how the range of geolocation can vary from a few kilometres to tens of kilometres depending on topography, the cellular environment, and power of the cellular search and rescue solution deployed.

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