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Topic # 226268 29-Dec-2017 09:29
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"If you're lost or injured in the wilderness, there's a good chance that there won't be cellular coverage where you are – that means you can't just phone for help. Your smartphone may still get you found, however, thanks to a new app designed at Spain's Universidad de Alicante.

When the app is activated by the user, it periodically emits a Wi-Fi signal that acts as a distress beacon which can be detected over a distance of several kilometers. The signal contains information such as the user's GPS coordinates, along with a text message such as 'I am injured' or 'I am disoriented.'

To pick up the signal, rescue crews will require a small antenna-equipped receptor device that connects to a smartphone of their own."

https://newatlas.com/smartphone-wifi-beacon-lost-wilderness/52765/

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  Reply # 1926494 29-Dec-2017 10:46
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Unless the user already has the app, how are they supposed to download it without mobile coverage? WiFi also doesn't propagate well when there are trees or hills in the way. Presumably that several Km distance is line of sight, or at least flat ground.

A device that listens for the signals transmitted by a cellphone that is searching for a network would be far better. As it would work for any cellphone. And the frequencies would be ones that propagate better.

And best of course is getting people to hire or buy mountain radios or satelite distress beacons.





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  Reply # 1926539 29-Dec-2017 13:21
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A questionable solution to a problem that's already solved by EPIRB.

This app:
CRACK, Ouch!
In a few days, someone will start looking for me, then this app will be a life saver...If I don't use all my battery gaming the time away.

EPIRB:
CRACK, Ouch!
Activate beacon, chopper on the way.




Location: Dunedin



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  Reply # 1926549 29-Dec-2017 13:53
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For those who want to learn more about EPIRB

http://www.epirb.com/

"What is an EPIRB?

This website explains everything you need to know about EPIRBs: how they work, how much they cost, how they differ from Personal Location Beacons (PLBs) and how you can set one up.

An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or EPIRB is used to alert search and rescue services in the event of an emergency.It does this by transmitting a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency via satellite and earth stations to the nearest rescue co-ordination centre.

Some EPIRBs also have built-in GPS which enables the rescue services to accurately locate you to +/- 50 metres.

Who uses EPIRBs?

EPIRBs are generally installed on boats and can either be operated automatically after an incident or manually. In most countries they are mandated to be used in all commercial shipping. However, they are also used on yachts and leisure boats. EPIRB PLB"

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  Reply # 1926601 29-Dec-2017 16:24
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Tests have already been done in New Zealand with using cell base stations on rescue helicopters for locating and communicating with cellphones in areas where there otherwise is no signal, which seems to be a lot more sensible than using wifi.

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  Reply # 1926633 29-Dec-2017 18:29
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Occupationally included in my *watch*





Nope, English isn't my mother tongue. But that's why I'm here. smile


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  Reply # 1926812 30-Dec-2017 08:24
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Workmate is a senior land SAR member who is regularly involved in rescues.

He has loads of pretty interesting stories of rescues. Not many stories involve EPIRBs though, partly because not many people that should have them do, and also because it typically only takes a few people to carry out the rescue. I believe most of the time they send the helicopter and go pick someone up. If the weather is bad or the terrain prevents a helicopter rescue, a team will walk in.

Anything involving something like the mentioned app requires several teams of people on the ground and loads of people coordinating.

We have EPIRBs at work that we take if we're heading to a remote or risky location.


When you activate your beacon:
-The rescue coordination center is notified, and contacts the relevant group for rescue (Police and/or Coastguard).
-Someone attempts to contact the registered owner of it, this way they can get info about expected location of the user and try to make sure it's not a false activation.
-A decision is made about the best way to effect the rescue. If it's on a road they'll send a vehicle, on the water they might send a boat, etc.
-You probably make it home.




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  Reply # 1927074 30-Dec-2017 17:54
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Jarno: Tests have already been done in New Zealand with using cell base stations on rescue helicopters for locating and communicating with cellphones in areas where there otherwise is no signal, which seems to be a lot more sensible than using wifi.


Simple yet elegant.

From what I read in the news, most people who need rescuing are unprepared idiots. Even the simple and obvious preparation of carrying enough life preservers seems often to be too much of an ask.

But even idiots carry a cell-phone.

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  Reply # 1927128 30-Dec-2017 20:17
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Aredwood: 

A device that listens for the signals transmitted by a cellphone that is searching for a network would be far better. As it would work for any cellphone. And the frequencies would be ones that propagate better.

 

The NZ Police already have that. It made an appearance in Hunt for the Wilderpeople. smile


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