Calling on satellites in alpine rescues

Mission control coordinates rescue with Sarontar node full image 2

Title Mission control coordinates rescue with Sarontar
Released 24/02/2015 11:11 am
Copyright ESA
Description

ESA’s Integrated Applications Promotions programme has helped TeleConsult Austria to develop and validate the Sarontar system, short for Situational Awareness and Command & Control of Rescue Forces in Alpine Regions.

The system uses satellite communication and navigation data to provide mountain rescue teams and the coordination centre with the information they need in a fast, coordinated response to an emergency.
Id 336032

24 February 2015

Emergency services rescued 1780 people in the Austrian Alps last year. They can now count on satellites to access maps, send messages, give warnings and stay in contact.

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TeleConsult Austria, with the support of ESA, has developed and tested an Internet-based system that combines satellites and hybrid technologies.

It can replace traditional FM radio, which is sometimes unreliable in mountainous regions, with a smartphone carrying the Sarontar app and a satellite modem.

Satellite modem and smartphone with Sarontar app node full image 2

Title Satellite modem and smartphone with Sarontar app
Released 24/02/2015 11:39 am
Copyright ESA
Description

The smartphone displaying a map is installed with the Sarontar app and the handheld satellite modem is used when terrestrial networks are unavailable. The switching between terrestrial and satellite is fully automatic.

ESA’s Integrated Applications Promotions programme helped TeleConsult Austria to develop and validate the Sarontar system, short for Situational Awareness and Command & Control of Rescue Forces in Alpine Regions.

The system uses satellite communications to provide mountain rescue teams with the information such as maps, messages and warnings as they make their way up the mountain and operate in the crisis area.
Id 336039

Back at mission control, a team coordinates the operation and directs the crew on the way to the accident. This involves tracking, instructing, monitoring and recording the progress.

The Sarontar application makes their job easier, too. Sarontar: Situational Awareness and Command & Control of Rescue Forces in Alpine Regions uses backend software to record the whole operation, create a visual of all regular GPS positioning data that also comes with timestamps, shows messages and warnings from the teams on the mountain, and displays the information graphically on a map.

Mission coordination and documentation are all in one place and can be used to report on the mission.

Sarontar tracks information node full image 2

Title Sarontar tracks information
Released 24/02/2015 11:43 am
Copyright ESA
Description

A database holds all the information about the rescue mission. This is displayed on the Internet-based Sarontar application via a standard browser.

ESA’s Integrated Applications Promotions programme helped TeleConsult Austria to develop and validate Sarontar: Situational Awareness and Command & Control of Rescue Forces in Alpine Regions. The system uses satellite data to provide rescue teams with the information they need in a fast, coordinated response to an emergency in alpine areas.
Id 336040

There’s no need to plot GPS coordinates previously radioed in from the rescue crew – it’s all automated. They can also redirect incoming messages to the smartphones of other team members on the mountain.

All the data collected during the rescue operation are stored and fully accessible during and after the event.

Satnav enables realtime tracking of the search and rescue teams operating in the mountain, Earth observation imagery provides up-to-date maps and telecom satellites ensure this information is delivered when terrestrial networks are unavailable.

The new system was put to the test recently in the Styrian region of Austria in an exercise requiring crew to attend two simulated emergencies at different areas on the mountain near Admont.

Rescue services called in node full image 2

Title Rescue services called in
Released 24/02/2015 11:46 am
Copyright ESA
Description

In a demonstration exercise in Admont, in the Styrian region of Austria, rescue services put the Sarontar system to the test to find out how well it helped them respond to two simulated emergencies in the Alps to find a simulated victim under an avalanche.

ESA’s Integrated Applications Promotions programme helped TeleConsult Austria to develop and validate the Sarontar system, short for Situational Awareness and Command & Control of Rescue Forces in Alpine Regions.
Id 336041

It involved mountain rescue services from six local areas who respond to emergencies in a 930 sq km area of the Alps.

The exercise involved around 50 volunteers, the rescue dog brigade, Alpine police and the local fire brigade.

Apart from a successful rescue, teams reported that the smartphone app is easy to use.

The mission coordination team quickly preferred using Sarontar rather than their traditional mapping tool.

The National Alerting and Warning Centre, which answers emergency calls, now has direct access to the Sarontar mission control centre and can insert initial mission information for the local unit responsible for the area of the emergency.

Dogs help find casualties node full image 2

Title Dogs help find casualties
Released 24/02/2015 12:03 pm
Copyright ESA
Description

Dogs were used to find special rags that simulated victims under avalanches in a demonstration exercise in Admont, in the Styrian region of Austria, when rescue services put the Sarontar system to the test.

ESA’s Integrated Applications Promotions programme helped TeleConsult Austria to develop and validate the system, short for Situational Awareness and Command & Control of Rescue Forces in Alpine Regions.

The system uses satellite data to provide rescue teams with the information they need in a fast, coordinated response to an emergency in alpine areas.
Id 336043

 

“ESA’s Integrated Applications Promotions programme helped us to meet user needs, to strengthen contact with user groups and to give them the opportunity to intensively test and use the system through the pilot stage,” said Claudia Fösleitner at TeleConsult Austria.

ESA’s Francesco Feliciani, who was at the event in Admont, commented: “Sarontar guarantees contact between mission control and rescue crew by integrating terrestrial wireless and satcom.

“Simple messaging and automatic tracking provides excellent support in particular for coordinating teams in search operations.”

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