Echo SAR turns cell phones into rescue beacons detected by drones

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When arriving at a disaster site, one of the most crucial tasks is to locate survivors who may be trapped in the debris. A new module is being designed to allow drones to do just that, by detecting radio signals from victims’ cell phones.

Designed by Canadian company Robotics Center and manufactured by Teledyne FLIR Defence, the Echo SAR (search and rescue) module incorporates the Artemis mobile phone detection system, manufactured by British cellular technology company Smith Myers.

Although Artemis is already used in manned aircraft, it is the first version of the technology that can be carried on board a small drone. In fact, Echo SAR is specifically designed for use on Teledyne R80D SkyRaider and SkyRanger R70 quadcopters.

Echo SAR can be used by a single user

robotics center

When one of the drones flies over a disaster site, the landing gear-mounted module would be able to lock onto the signal of any mobile phone in the area – regardless if there is no cellular network available. Not only the locations of the phones appear on a map, but it is also possible to communicate with the users of these phones via SMS.

The module itself uses the Linux operating system, weighs 1.04 kg (2.29 lb), has 32 GB of internal memory and can operate in temperatures ranging from -20 to 50 ºC (-4 to 122 ºF).

Along with its use at disaster sites, some of the module’s other suggested applications involve searching for individuals lost in the wild, detecting intruders in areas such as border crossings, and monitoring the movements of response teams. against forest fires or other ground crews. .

Source: Robotics Center

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