Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Galileo Data Could Aid Rescuers

avalanche rescue
(photo from NOAA)
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from a news release of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Whether rescuers are navigating burning buildings or remote canyons, the head of the operation needs to know where the individuals are currently located. In urban settings hazards might include threats of collapsing buildings or escaping gases. In the backcountry blocked escape routes, unstable slopes or snow might be more pertinent.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) guide rescue teams. GNSS inclues GPS, Europe's Galileo and the Russian GLONASS. The new localization technologies are being made possible because Galileo is not controlled by the military.

This way it is possible to implement special services for civil applications, for example in rescue missions. In the Fraunhofer Galileo Lab, researchers from nine Fraunhofer Institutes, together with the Fraunhofer Traffic and Transportation Alliance, are working on locating people and goods in industry, commerce, transportation and mobility. “When analyzing various target groups such as logistics, travel assistance or security services, it quickly becomes clear that the tasks of the system architecture are similar.

The experts not only use the Galileo data, but are also testing combined receivers for various satellite systems because the most precise navigation and, above all, the highest positioning accuracy in cities and canyons, etc., can be achieved by using the collective data of all the satellites in the sky.
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