Sunday, March 18, 2012

How 911 texting will impact search and rescue

Search and rescue helicopter

Last week I posted about how 911 can’t even locate your mobile phone in many parts of the US, so most folks shouldn’t expect to be able to text 911 anytime soon, but that will change early next year for some Verizon customers. There isn’t a firm schedule for nationwide implementation of this next generation 911 capability, but imagine the impact it will ultimately have on backcountry search and rescue (SAR). After all, text messages can often be successfully delivered where coverage is too weak to place a voice call. read more

Search and rescue capability coming to GPS, GLONASS and Galileo

For many years now, satellite-aided search and rescue notification has been available using personal locator beacons (PLBs). Cospas-Sarsat, as this service is officially known, utilizes geosynchronous and low earth orbit satellites. This results in a couple of limitations — the need to have a direct line of sight to a transmitter (for the former), and the possibility that multiple orbits may be required to independently establish a position (for the latter). read more