Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Drones in survival situations

February 22, 2019

The snow patrol drones saving skiers from an icy death

  • 22 February 20

    Rescue team and droneImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionRescue teams say drones can sometimes halve search timesBeing buried alive is a scenario most of us thankfully only experience in nightmares.But for off-piste skiing fans, lured by the thrill of carving their own tracks through fresh powder snow, it’s an ever-present risk.More than 150 people – mostly skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers – are killed in avalanches every year, according to National Geographic statistics.This month alone, there have been deaths in Switzerland, Italy, Canada and North America.Drone manufacturers claim UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) could slash the toll by finding victims faster, and allowing ski patrollers to clear snow on high-risk slopes using explosives – without endangering themselves.

    Some mountain rescue services claim drones reduce their search times by up to 50%, because a drone can scan a large avalanche site more quickly than a person on foot.And when it comes to avalanches, time is of the essence.More than 90% of people buried by avalanches survive if dug out within 15 minutes. But after 45 minutes, the odds of survival drop to about 20%.Quadbike carrying droneImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe Czech Mountain Rescue Service transports the Robodrone to the avalanche siteSuffocation is the main cause of death.”Once you’re trapped, you can’t move, even if you’re only under 10cm (4in) of snow, and carbon dioxide quickly builds up around your mouth,” says avalanche expert Henry Schniewind.For someone in this situation, the best hope of rescue is currently an avalanche transceiver. Worn under your jacket, these hand-sized radio devices emit a low-power pulsed signal when activated.They can also be switched to receive mode, allowing those skiing with avalanche victims to pinpoint the area where the signal is strongest, then use probes and shovels to dig them out.The Czech Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) uses Robodrone Kingfisher drones fitted with cameras and its own avalanche transceiver detection system to locate buried skiers.Drone against snowy treesImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe drone, equipped with cameras and a transceiver sensor, can “talk” to the rescue team“We use drones fitted with a special system that works on the 457kHz frequency to detect avalanche transceivers,” says MRS drone operator Marek Frys.But finding someone’s exact location on difficult terrain often takes too long. New triple-antenna transceivers can help boost the signal, but what do you do about people who aren’t wearing any kind of transceiver?”We are working on thermal and multispectral systems that can see gases such as methane and carbon dioxide and could also detect people buried in mud slides, or under rubble,” explains Jean-Yves Barman, chief executive of software developer SCS Smart City Swiss.But finding people is one thing, digging them out is another. And no drones can yet do the digging.Rescue dogsImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionDogs are still useful for digging out avalanche victimsThis is where dogs, fellow skiers and rescue teams are needed.”The goal is to find them and dig them out as fast as you can,” Mr Schniewind says.”That’s why most people who survive are saved by their companions rather than by organised rescue missions.”Other technologies come in.Some skiwear is now fitted with so-called Recco reflectors that bounce back a directional signal to mountain rescue teams equipped with a Recco detector.Roland Georges, president of the high mountain guides office in the French resort of Courchevel, says: “All the guides in Courchevel have Recco reflectors in their ski gear. However, it takes time to raise an alert and get a helicopter out.”Mr Georges believes drones could also become indispensible for mountain guides heading off the beaten track.”Having seen how small and quick to activate drones can be, I would not be surprised if all guides are soon carrying one,” he says.Presentational grey lineMany off-piste skiers also wear backpacks that incorporate avalanche airbags, designed to inflate when the wearer pulls a cord, and keep them on the surface of the snow.The latest innovations in this field include German airbag manufacturer ABS’s wireless partner activation system, that triggers all the bags in a group when one cord is pulled.ABS chief executive Dr Stefan Mohr says the technology can “remotely trigger partner airbags thanks to integrated wireless group activation, actively preventing the burial of more than one person”.And avalanche specialist Pieps has introduced an airbag that automatically deflates three minutes after being triggered so “the pressure on the buried person is reduced and a big air pocket is created”.But the essence of avalanche survival remains freeing those trapped as quickly as possible, Mr Schniewind says.Pascal SevozImage copyrightPASCAL SEVOZImage caption“Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services at Meribel-Mottaret in FranceSetting off controlled avalanches to prevent deadly slides happening in the first place is one of the main responsibilities of patrol teams working in ski resorts.”Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services in the French resort of Meribel-Mottaret.”The techniques we use to set off controlled slides include Gazex cannons – or metal pipes fixed to the side of the mountain on high-risk slopes – that explode a mixture of oxygen and propane, and Catex systems using cables along which explosive charges can be positioned.”It can be dangerous work. Just last month, two ski patrollers were killed in the French resort of Morillon when an explosive detonated before they could move away.Drone in mountain sceneryImage copyrightMOUNTAIN DRONESImage captionMountain Drones’ prototype can drop explosives to trigger avalanchesSo if drones could do this work, more lives might be saved.Mountain Drones, a Colorado-based start-up, has developed a prototype drone capable of carrying the charges used to trigger controlled avalanches, allowing humans to keep a safe distance away from the explosions.But the firm has hit a regulatory brick wall owing to the US government’s ban on drones carrying explosives.”Our technology is ready to go, but we’ve had to put development on hold because the federal government will not allow civilian operators to fly weaponised drones over US soil,” explains co-founder Brent Holbrook.”It seems we are a bit ahead of our time.”Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitterand Facebook

      Rescue team and droneImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionRescue teams say drones can sometimes halve search timesBeing buried alive is a scenario most of us thankfully only experience in nightmares.But for off-piste skiing fans, lured by the thrill of carving their own tracks through fresh powder snow, it’s an ever-present risk.More than 150 people – mostly skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers – are killed in avalanches every year, according to National Geographic statistics.This month alone, there have been deaths in Switzerland, Italy, Canada and North America.Drone manufacturers claim UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) could slash the toll by finding victims faster, and allowing ski patrollers to clear snow on high-risk slopes using explosives – without endangering themselves.

      Some mountain rescue services claim drones reduce their search times by up to 50%, because a drone can scan a large avalanche site more quickly than a person on foot.And when it comes to avalanches, time is of the essence.More than 90% of people buried by avalanches survive if dug out within 15 minutes. But after 45 minutes, the odds of survival drop to about 20%.Quadbike carrying droneImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe Czech Mountain Rescue Service transports the Robodrone to the avalanche siteSuffocation is the main cause of death.”Once you’re trapped, you can’t move, even if you’re only under 10cm (4in) of snow, and carbon dioxide quickly builds up around your mouth,” says avalanche expert Henry Schniewind.For someone in this situation, the best hope of rescue is currently an avalanche transceiver. Worn under your jacket, these hand-sized radio devices emit a low-power pulsed signal when activated.They can also be switched to receive mode, allowing those skiing with avalanche victims to pinpoint the area where the signal is strongest, then use probes and shovels to dig them out.The Czech Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) uses Robodrone Kingfisher drones fitted with cameras and its own avalanche transceiver detection system to locate buried skiers.Drone against snowy treesImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe drone, equipped with cameras and a transceiver sensor, can “talk” to the rescue team“We use drones fitted with a special system that works on the 457kHz frequency to detect avalanche transceivers,” says MRS drone operator Marek Frys.But finding someone’s exact location on difficult terrain often takes too long. New triple-antenna transceivers can help boost the signal, but what do you do about people who aren’t wearing any kind of transceiver?”We are working on thermal and multispectral systems that can see gases such as methane and carbon dioxide and could also detect people buried in mud slides, or under rubble,” explains Jean-Yves Barman, chief executive of software developer SCS Smart City Swiss.But finding people is one thing, digging them out is another. And no drones can yet do the digging.Rescue dogsImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionDogs are still useful for digging out avalanche victimsThis is where dogs, fellow skiers and rescue teams are needed.”The goal is to find them and dig them out as fast as you can,” Mr Schniewind says.”That’s why most people who survive are saved by their companions rather than by organised rescue missions.”Other technologies come in.Some skiwear is now fitted with so-called Recco reflectors that bounce back a directional signal to mountain rescue teams equipped with a Recco detector.Roland Georges, president of the high mountain guides office in the French resort of Courchevel, says: “All the guides in Courchevel have Recco reflectors in their ski gear. However, it takes time to raise an alert and get a helicopter out.”Mr Georges believes drones could also become indispensible for mountain guides heading off the beaten track.”Having seen how small and quick to activate drones can be, I would not be surprised if all guides are soon carrying one,” he says.Presentational grey lineMany off-piste skiers also wear backpacks that incorporate avalanche airbags, designed to inflate when the wearer pulls a cord, and keep them on the surface of the snow.The latest innovations in this field include German airbag manufacturer ABS’s wireless partner activation system, that triggers all the bags in a group when one cord is pulled.ABS chief executive Dr Stefan Mohr says the technology can “remotely trigger partner airbags thanks to integrated wireless group activation, actively preventing the burial of more than one person”.And avalanche specialist Pieps has introduced an airbag that automatically deflates three minutes after being triggered so “the pressure on the buried person is reduced and a big air pocket is created”.But the essence of avalanche survival remains freeing those trapped as quickly as possible, Mr Schniewind says.Pascal SevozImage copyrightPASCAL SEVOZImage caption“Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services at Meribel-Mottaret in FranceSetting off controlled avalanches to prevent deadly slides happening in the first place is one of the main responsibilities of patrol teams working in ski resorts.”Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services in the French resort of Meribel-Mottaret.”The techniques we use to set off controlled slides include Gazex cannons – or metal pipes fixed to the side of the mountain on high-risk slopes – that explode a mixture of oxygen and propane, and Catex systems using cables along which explosive charges can be positioned.”It can be dangerous work. Just last month, two ski patrollers were killed in the French resort of Morillon when an explosive detonated before they could move away.Drone in mountain sceneryImage copyrightMOUNTAIN DRONESImage captionMountain Drones’ prototype can drop explosives to trigger avalanchesSo if drones could do this work, more lives might be saved.Mountain Drones, a Colorado-based start-up, has developed a prototype drone capable of carrying the charges used to trigger controlled avalanches, allowing humans to keep a safe distance away from the explosions.But the firm has hit a regulatory brick wall owing to the US government’s ban on drones carrying explosives.”Our technology is ready to go, but we’ve had to put development on hold because the federal government will not allow civilian operators to fly weaponised drones over US soil,” explains co-founder Brent Holbrook.”It seems we are a bit ahead of our time.”Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitterand Facebook

      Rescue team and droneImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionRescue teams say drones can sometimes halve search timesBeing buried alive is a scenario most of us thankfully only experience in nightmares.But for off-piste skiing fans, lured by the thrill of carving their own tracks through fresh powder snow, it’s an ever-present risk.More than 150 people – mostly skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers – are killed in avalanches every year, according to National Geographic statistics.This month alone, there have been deaths in Switzerland, Italy, Canada and North America.Drone manufacturers claim UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) could slash the toll by finding victims faster, and allowing ski patrollers to clear snow on high-risk slopes using explosives – without endangering themselves.

      Some mountain rescue services claim drones reduce their search times by up to 50%, because a drone can scan a large avalanche site more quickly than a person on foot.And when it comes to avalanches, time is of the essence.More than 90% of people buried by avalanches survive if dug out within 15 minutes. But after 45 minutes, the odds of survival drop to about 20%.Quadbike carrying droneImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe Czech Mountain Rescue Service transports the Robodrone to the avalanche siteSuffocation is the main cause of death.”Once you’re trapped, you can’t move, even if you’re only under 10cm (4in) of snow, and carbon dioxide quickly builds up around your mouth,” says avalanche expert Henry Schniewind.For someone in this situation, the best hope of rescue is currently an avalanche transceiver. Worn under your jacket, these hand-sized radio devices emit a low-power pulsed signal when activated.They can also be switched to receive mode, allowing those skiing with avalanche victims to pinpoint the area where the signal is strongest, then use probes and shovels to dig them out.The Czech Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) uses Robodrone Kingfisher drones fitted with cameras and its own avalanche transceiver detection system to locate buried skiers.Drone against snowy treesImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe drone, equipped with cameras and a transceiver sensor, can “talk” to the rescue team“We use drones fitted with a special system that works on the 457kHz frequency to detect avalanche transceivers,” says MRS drone operator Marek Frys.But finding someone’s exact location on difficult terrain often takes too long. New triple-antenna transceivers can help boost the signal, but what do you do about people who aren’t wearing any kind of transceiver?”We are working on thermal and multispectral systems that can see gases such as methane and carbon dioxide and could also detect people buried in mud slides, or under rubble,” explains Jean-Yves Barman, chief executive of software developer SCS Smart City Swiss.But finding people is one thing, digging them out is another. And no drones can yet do the digging.Rescue dogsImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionDogs are still useful for digging out avalanche victimsThis is where dogs, fellow skiers and rescue teams are needed.”The goal is to find them and dig them out as fast as you can,” Mr Schniewind says.”That’s why most people who survive are saved by their companions rather than by organised rescue missions.”Other technologies come in.Some skiwear is now fitted with so-called Recco reflectors that bounce back a directional signal to mountain rescue teams equipped with a Recco detector.Roland Georges, president of the high mountain guides office in the French resort of Courchevel, says: “All the guides in Courchevel have Recco reflectors in their ski gear. However, it takes time to raise an alert and get a helicopter out.”Mr Georges believes drones could also become indispensible for mountain guides heading off the beaten track.”Having seen how small and quick to activate drones can be, I would not be surprised if all guides are soon carrying one,” he says.Presentational grey lineMany off-piste skiers also wear backpacks that incorporate avalanche airbags, designed to inflate when the wearer pulls a cord, and keep them on the surface of the snow.The latest innovations in this field include German airbag manufacturer ABS’s wireless partner activation system, that triggers all the bags in a group when one cord is pulled.ABS chief executive Dr Stefan Mohr says the technology can “remotely trigger partner airbags thanks to integrated wireless group activation, actively preventing the burial of more than one person”.And avalanche specialist Pieps has introduced an airbag that automatically deflates three minutes after being triggered so “the pressure on the buried person is reduced and a big air pocket is created”.But the essence of avalanche survival remains freeing those trapped as quickly as possible, Mr Schniewind says.Pascal SevozImage copyrightPASCAL SEVOZImage caption“Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services at Meribel-Mottaret in FranceSetting off controlled avalanches to prevent deadly slides happening in the first place is one of the main responsibilities of patrol teams working in ski resorts.”Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services in the French resort of Meribel-Mottaret.”The techniques we use to set off controlled slides include Gazex cannons – or metal pipes fixed to the side of the mountain on high-risk slopes – that explode a mixture of oxygen and propane, and Catex systems using cables along which explosive charges can be positioned.”It can be dangerous work. Just last month, two ski patrollers were killed in the French resort of Morillon when an explosive detonated before they could move away.Drone in mountain sceneryImage copyrightMOUNTAIN DRONESImage captionMountain Drones’ prototype can drop explosives to trigger avalanchesSo if drones could do this work, more lives might be saved.Mountain Drones, a Colorado-based start-up, has developed a prototype drone capable of carrying the charges used to trigger controlled avalanches, allowing humans to keep a safe distance away from the explosions.But the firm has hit a regulatory brick wall owing to the US government’s ban on drones carrying explosives.”Our technology is ready to go, but we’ve had to put development on hold because the federal government will not allow civilian operators to fly weaponised drones over US soil,” explains co-founder Brent Holbrook.”It seems we are a bit ahead of our time.”Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitterand Facebook

      Some mountain rescue services claim drones reduce their search times by up to 50%, because a drone can scan a large avalanche site more quickly than a person on foot.And when it comes to avalanches, time is of the essence.More than 90% of people buried by avalanches survive if dug out within 15 minutes. But after 45 minutes, the odds of survival drop to about 20%.Quadbike carrying droneImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe Czech Mountain Rescue Service transports the Robodrone to the avalanche siteSuffocation is the main cause of death.”Once you’re trapped, you can’t move, even if you’re only under 10cm (4in) of snow, and carbon dioxide quickly builds up around your mouth,” says avalanche expert Henry Schniewind.For someone in this situation, the best hope of rescue is currently an avalanche transceiver. Worn under your jacket, these hand-sized radio devices emit a low-power pulsed signal when activated.They can also be switched to receive mode, allowing those skiing with avalanche victims to pinpoint the area where the signal is strongest, then use probes and shovels to dig them out.The Czech Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) uses Robodrone Kingfisher drones fitted with cameras and its own avalanche transceiver detection system to locate buried skiers.Drone against snowy treesImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe drone, equipped with cameras and a transceiver sensor, can “talk” to the rescue team“We use drones fitted with a special system that works on the 457kHz frequency to detect avalanche transceivers,” says MRS drone operator Marek Frys.But finding someone’s exact location on difficult terrain often takes too long. New triple-antenna transceivers can help boost the signal, but what do you do about people who aren’t wearing any kind of transceiver?”We are working on thermal and multispectral systems that can see gases such as methane and carbon dioxide and could also detect people buried in mud slides, or under rubble,” explains Jean-Yves Barman, chief executive of software developer SCS Smart City Swiss.But finding people is one thing, digging them out is another. And no drones can yet do the digging.Rescue dogsImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionDogs are still useful for digging out avalanche victimsThis is where dogs, fellow skiers and rescue teams are needed.”The goal is to find them and dig them out as fast as you can,” Mr Schniewind says.”That’s why most people who survive are saved by their companions rather than by organised rescue missions.”Other technologies come in.Some skiwear is now fitted with so-called Recco reflectors that bounce back a directional signal to mountain rescue teams equipped with a Recco detector.Roland Georges, president of the high mountain guides office in the French resort of Courchevel, says: “All the guides in Courchevel have Recco reflectors in their ski gear. However, it takes time to raise an alert and get a helicopter out.”Mr Georges believes drones could also become indispensible for mountain guides heading off the beaten track.”Having seen how small and quick to activate drones can be, I would not be surprised if all guides are soon carrying one,” he says.Presentational grey lineMany off-piste skiers also wear backpacks that incorporate avalanche airbags, designed to inflate when the wearer pulls a cord, and keep them on the surface of the snow.The latest innovations in this field include German airbag manufacturer ABS’s wireless partner activation system, that triggers all the bags in a group when one cord is pulled.ABS chief executive Dr Stefan Mohr says the technology can “remotely trigger partner airbags thanks to integrated wireless group activation, actively preventing the burial of more than one person”.And avalanche specialist Pieps has introduced an airbag that automatically deflates three minutes after being triggered so “the pressure on the buried person is reduced and a big air pocket is created”.But the essence of avalanche survival remains freeing those trapped as quickly as possible, Mr Schniewind says.Pascal SevozImage copyrightPASCAL SEVOZImage caption“Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services at Meribel-Mottaret in FranceSetting off controlled avalanches to prevent deadly slides happening in the first place is one of the main responsibilities of patrol teams working in ski resorts.”Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services in the French resort of Meribel-Mottaret.”The techniques we use to set off controlled slides include Gazex cannons – or metal pipes fixed to the side of the mountain on high-risk slopes – that explode a mixture of oxygen and propane, and Catex systems using cables along which explosive charges can be positioned.”It can be dangerous work. Just last month, two ski patrollers were killed in the French resort of Morillon when an explosive detonated before they could move away.Drone in mountain sceneryImage copyrightMOUNTAIN DRONESImage captionMountain Drones’ prototype can drop explosives to trigger avalanchesSo if drones could do this work, more lives might be saved.Mountain Drones, a Colorado-based start-up, has developed a prototype drone capable of carrying the charges used to trigger controlled avalanches, allowing humans to keep a safe distance away from the explosions.But the firm has hit a regulatory brick wall owing to the US government’s ban on drones carrying explosives.”Our technology is ready to go, but we’ve had to put development on hold because the federal government will not allow civilian operators to fly weaponised drones over US soil,” explains co-founder Brent Holbrook.”It seems we are a bit ahead of our time.”Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitterand Facebook
      Rescue team and droneImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionRescue teams say drones can sometimes halve search timesBeing buried alive is a scenario most of us thankfully only experience in nightmares.But for off-piste skiing fans, lured by the thrill of carving their own tracks through fresh powder snow, it’s an ever-present risk.More than 150 people – mostly skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers – are killed in avalanches every year, according to National Geographic statistics.This month alone, there have been deaths in Switzerland, Italy, Canada and North America.Drone manufacturers claim UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) could slash the toll by finding victims faster, and allowing ski patrollers to clear snow on high-risk slopes using explosives – without endangering themselves.

      Some mountain rescue services claim drones reduce their search times by up to 50%, because a drone can scan a large avalanche site more quickly than a person on foot.And when it comes to avalanches, time is of the essence.More than 90% of people buried by avalanches survive if dug out within 15 minutes. But after 45 minutes, the odds of survival drop to about 20%.Quadbike carrying droneImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe Czech Mountain Rescue Service transports the Robodrone to the avalanche siteSuffocation is the main cause of death.”Once you’re trapped, you can’t move, even if you’re only under 10cm (4in) of snow, and carbon dioxide quickly builds up around your mouth,” says avalanche expert Henry Schniewind.For someone in this situation, the best hope of rescue is currently an avalanche transceiver. Worn under your jacket, these hand-sized radio devices emit a low-power pulsed signal when activated.They can also be switched to receive mode, allowing those skiing with avalanche victims to pinpoint the area where the signal is strongest, then use probes and shovels to dig them out.The Czech Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) uses Robodrone Kingfisher drones fitted with cameras and its own avalanche transceiver detection system to locate buried skiers.Drone against snowy treesImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe drone, equipped with cameras and a transceiver sensor, can “talk” to the rescue team“We use drones fitted with a special system that works on the 457kHz frequency to detect avalanche transceivers,” says MRS drone operator Marek Frys.But finding someone’s exact location on difficult terrain often takes too long. New triple-antenna transceivers can help boost the signal, but what do you do about people who aren’t wearing any kind of transceiver?”We are working on thermal and multispectral systems that can see gases such as methane and carbon dioxide and could also detect people buried in mud slides, or under rubble,” explains Jean-Yves Barman, chief executive of software developer SCS Smart City Swiss.But finding people is one thing, digging them out is another. And no drones can yet do the digging.Rescue dogsImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionDogs are still useful for digging out avalanche victimsThis is where dogs, fellow skiers and rescue teams are needed.”The goal is to find them and dig them out as fast as you can,” Mr Schniewind says.”That’s why most people who survive are saved by their companions rather than by organised rescue missions.”Other technologies come in.Some skiwear is now fitted with so-called Recco reflectors that bounce back a directional signal to mountain rescue teams equipped with a Recco detector.Roland Georges, president of the high mountain guides office in the French resort of Courchevel, says: “All the guides in Courchevel have Recco reflectors in their ski gear. However, it takes time to raise an alert and get a helicopter out.”Mr Georges believes drones could also become indispensible for mountain guides heading off the beaten track.”Having seen how small and quick to activate drones can be, I would not be surprised if all guides are soon carrying one,” he says.Presentational grey lineMany off-piste skiers also wear backpacks that incorporate avalanche airbags, designed to inflate when the wearer pulls a cord, and keep them on the surface of the snow.The latest innovations in this field include German airbag manufacturer ABS’s wireless partner activation system, that triggers all the bags in a group when one cord is pulled.ABS chief executive Dr Stefan Mohr says the technology can “remotely trigger partner airbags thanks to integrated wireless group activation, actively preventing the burial of more than one person”.And avalanche specialist Pieps has introduced an airbag that automatically deflates three minutes after being triggered so “the pressure on the buried person is reduced and a big air pocket is created”.But the essence of avalanche survival remains freeing those trapped as quickly as possible, Mr Schniewind says.Pascal SevozImage copyrightPASCAL SEVOZImage caption“Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services at Meribel-Mottaret in FranceSetting off controlled avalanches to prevent deadly slides happening in the first place is one of the main responsibilities of patrol teams working in ski resorts.”Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services in the French resort of Meribel-Mottaret.”The techniques we use to set off controlled slides include Gazex cannons – or metal pipes fixed to the side of the mountain on high-risk slopes – that explode a mixture of oxygen and propane, and Catex systems using cables along which explosive charges can be positioned.”It can be dangerous work. Just last month, two ski patrollers were killed in the French resort of Morillon when an explosive detonated before they could move away.Drone in mountain sceneryImage copyrightMOUNTAIN DRONESImage captionMountain Drones’ prototype can drop explosives to trigger avalanchesSo if drones could do this work, more lives might be saved.Mountain Drones, a Colorado-based start-up, has developed a prototype drone capable of carrying the charges used to trigger controlled avalanches, allowing humans to keep a safe distance away from the explosions.But the firm has hit a regulatory brick wall owing to the US government’s ban on drones carrying explosives.”Our technology is ready to go, but we’ve had to put development on hold because the federal government will not allow civilian operators to fly weaponised drones over US soil,” explains co-founder Brent Holbrook.”It seems we are a bit ahead of our time.”Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitterand Facebook

      Some mountain rescue services claim drones reduce their search times by up to 50%, because a drone can scan a large avalanche site more quickly than a person on foot.And when it comes to avalanches, time is of the essence.More than 90% of people buried by avalanches survive if dug out within 15 minutes. But after 45 minutes, the odds of survival drop to about 20%.Quadbike carrying droneImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe Czech Mountain Rescue Service transports the Robodrone to the avalanche siteSuffocation is the main cause of death.”Once you’re trapped, you can’t move, even if you’re only under 10cm (4in) of snow, and carbon dioxide quickly builds up around your mouth,” says avalanche expert Henry Schniewind.For someone in this situation, the best hope of rescue is currently an avalanche transceiver. Worn under your jacket, these hand-sized radio devices emit a low-power pulsed signal when activated.They can also be switched to receive mode, allowing those skiing with avalanche victims to pinpoint the area where the signal is strongest, then use probes and shovels to dig them out.The Czech Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) uses Robodrone Kingfisher drones fitted with cameras and its own avalanche transceiver detection system to locate buried skiers.Drone against snowy treesImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionThe drone, equipped with cameras and a transceiver sensor, can “talk” to the rescue team“We use drones fitted with a special system that works on the 457kHz frequency to detect avalanche transceivers,” says MRS drone operator Marek Frys.But finding someone’s exact location on difficult terrain often takes too long. New triple-antenna transceivers can help boost the signal, but what do you do about people who aren’t wearing any kind of transceiver?”We are working on thermal and multispectral systems that can see gases such as methane and carbon dioxide and could also detect people buried in mud slides, or under rubble,” explains Jean-Yves Barman, chief executive of software developer SCS Smart City Swiss.But finding people is one thing, digging them out is another. And no drones can yet do the digging.Rescue dogsImage copyrightROBODRONEImage captionDogs are still useful for digging out avalanche victimsThis is where dogs, fellow skiers and rescue teams are needed.”The goal is to find them and dig them out as fast as you can,” Mr Schniewind says.”That’s why most people who survive are saved by their companions rather than by organised rescue missions.”Other technologies come in.Some skiwear is now fitted with so-called Recco reflectors that bounce back a directional signal to mountain rescue teams equipped with a Recco detector.Roland Georges, president of the high mountain guides office in the French resort of Courchevel, says: “All the guides in Courchevel have Recco reflectors in their ski gear. However, it takes time to raise an alert and get a helicopter out.”Mr Georges believes drones could also become indispensible for mountain guides heading off the beaten track.”Having seen how small and quick to activate drones can be, I would not be surprised if all guides are soon carrying one,” he says.Presentational grey lineMany off-piste skiers also wear backpacks that incorporate avalanche airbags, designed to inflate when the wearer pulls a cord, and keep them on the surface of the snow.The latest innovations in this field include German airbag manufacturer ABS’s wireless partner activation system, that triggers all the bags in a group when one cord is pulled.ABS chief executive Dr Stefan Mohr says the technology can “remotely trigger partner airbags thanks to integrated wireless group activation, actively preventing the burial of more than one person”.And avalanche specialist Pieps has introduced an airbag that automatically deflates three minutes after being triggered so “the pressure on the buried person is reduced and a big air pocket is created”.But the essence of avalanche survival remains freeing those trapped as quickly as possible, Mr Schniewind says.Pascal SevozImage copyrightPASCAL SEVOZImage caption“Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services at Meribel-Mottaret in FranceSetting off controlled avalanches to prevent deadly slides happening in the first place is one of the main responsibilities of patrol teams working in ski resorts.”Limiting avalanche danger is a big part of our work,” says Pascal Sevoz, director of piste services in the French resort of Meribel-Mottaret.”The techniques we use to set off controlled slides include Gazex cannons – or metal pipes fixed to the side of the mountain on high-risk slopes – that explode a mixture of oxygen and propane, and Catex systems using cables along which explosive charges can be positioned.”It can be dangerous work. Just last month, two ski patrollers were killed in the French resort of Morillon when an explosive detonated before they could move away.Drone in mountain sceneryImage copyrightMOUNTAIN DRONESImage captionMountain Drones’ prototype can drop explosives to trigger avalanchesSo if drones could do this work, more lives might be saved.Mountain Drones, a Colorado-based start-up, has developed a prototype drone capable of carrying the charges used to trigger controlled avalanches, allowing humans to keep a safe distance away from the explosions.But the firm has hit a regulatory brick wall owing to the US government’s ban on drones carrying explosives.”Our technology is ready to go, but we’ve had to put development on hold because the federal government will not allow civilian operators to fly weaponised drones over US soil,” explains co-founder Brent Holbrook.”It seems we are a bit ahead of our time.”Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitterand Facebook
      Advertisements

      Sar gear example 72hrd

      September 10, 2018

      Sometimes old methods are better

      September 6, 2018

      In a search-and-rescue incident a couple weeks ago the management team waited for helicopter to get above the spot in order to get a GPS location.

      This location could have been determined in a lot quicker format using an older form of navigation called intersection.

      Sometime this old techniques are forgotten but they still work all you need is a a compass and where you are sighting from.

      What could have happened is we had teams out on location all viewing the incident area. They could have shot azimuths from where they were standing and radio these bearings to command. There are at least four teams viewing the incident. Through intersection which is with the four service used to do in determining Wildfire location, they would have had the GPS coordinate instantaneously and monitor the incident as the incident grew.

      The command simply had forgotten to use this old method and waited for Aviation team to fly above the area.

      The older method go to save time and money and given instantaneous location. Sometimes the older ways or better. They don’t rely upon mechanical or computer advantage in order to work.

      Keep this in your toolbox for future reference

      Perishable skills

      March 6, 2018

      Shooting accurately requires physical, mental, and physical/mental intersection skills. All of these skills decay, or perhaps the better word is atrophy, if they’re not maintained.

      Basic backpacking gear for snow camping as per Tahoe rim trail

      March 3, 2018

      Basic gear list for snow camping**:

      50+L backpack

      Snow shovel

      Snowshoes or cross country skis

      Trekking poles

      1-2 full length sleeping pads with total R-value of >4.0 (no blue foam)

      Sleeping bag rated <20 degrees

      3 or (preferably) 4 season tent

      Stove and fuel

      Cook kit

      2-3L of water-carrying capacity

      Backpacking toilet kit plus Wag Bag/Biffy Bag disposable toilet

      Lip balm with SPF and sunscreen

      Headlamp with fresh batteries

      Compass
      You will also need the following clothing items (no cotton allowed)**:

      Wool hat

      Neck gaiter or balaclava

      2 pairs of very warm gloves/mittens

      2 wicking underlayer shirts

      2 pairs long underwear/fleece pants

      2 midlayers of insulation (fleece and down)

      Outer waterproof shell – jacket and pants

      2 pairs warm wool socks

      Winter boots (waterproof)

      Snow camping at tahoe

      March 3, 2018

      « All Events

      Snow Camping 101
      March 17 @ 8:00 am – March 18 @ 1:00 pm

      $85 FOR TRTA MEMBERS, $100 FOR ASPIRING TRTA MEMBERS

      Click here to join or renew your membership today!

      This overnight snow camping course is designed for winter backcountry enthusiasts eager to learn how to upgrade their wilderness experience by learning the skills needed to successfully snow camp. Join us for this weekend experience to learn all kinds of snow camping tips and tricks, including: winter layering tips, how to set up camp in the snow, best snow traveling practices, winter Leave No Trace wilderness ethics, campsite selection, how to stay warm when you sleep, and winter weather smarts. After a morning classroom session, we will take our learning out to the field by snowshoeing 2-3 miles to our evening destination to continue hands-on learning and make some genuine backcountry friends. You will leave this course more confident in your future winter excursions.

      FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

      Participants must be in good physical condition and able to carry a 25-35lb backpack while snowshoeing through deep snow. The TRTA asks that participants have completed three or more hikes of 8+ miles within the last 18 months. These physical requirements are for your safety and for the safety of the group and guides.

      NECESSARY MATERIALS

      Participants must supply their own food and gear for this overnight program. It is critical that you have the right gear for this winter camping trip. Limited rental equipment is available through the TRTA. You will receive the full recommended gear and food lists upon approval after registration.
      Basic gear list for snow camping**:

      50+L backpack

      Snow shovel

      Snowshoes or cross country skis

      Trekking poles

      1-2 full length sleeping pads with total R-value of >4.0 (no blue foam)

      Sleeping bag rated <20 degrees

      3 or (preferably) 4 season tent

      Stove and fuel

      Cook kit

      2-3L of water-carrying capacity

      Backpacking toilet kit plus Wag Bag/Biffy Bag disposable toilet

      Lip balm with SPF and sunscreen

      Headlamp with fresh batteries

      Compass
      You will also need the following clothing items (no cotton allowed)**:

      Wool hat

      Neck gaiter or balaclava

      2 pairs of very warm gloves/mittens

      2 wicking underlayer shirts

      2 pairs long underwear/fleece pants

      2 midlayers of insulation (fleece and down)

      Outer waterproof shell – jacket and pants

      2 pairs warm wool socks

      Winter boots (waterproof)

      **More details, additional optional (nice to have) items, and gear and clothing recommendations and menu suggestions are included in the SC101 information packet participants receive after completing all registration steps.

      PROGRAM PREPARATION

      Once you have registered for the program, you will be given additional pre-program instructions and preparation materials. These materials include: course objectives, weekend itinerary, preparation tips, food suggestions, gear requirements and recommendations, and a packing list.

      CANCELLATION POLICY

      In the event of cancelling your registration greater than or equal to 30 days prior to the program start date, the TRTA will retain a $35 administrative fee. Within 30 days of the program start date, tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable

      CONTINGENCY DATE

      In the event that the TRTA needs to reschedule this course, it will be held on the Contingency Date (March 24-25). If you cannot attend this date, the TRTA will retain a $35 administrative fee. If the TRTA deems it necessary to cancel the Contingency Date, you will receive a full refund.

      We hope that you will join us on this beautiful and instructional weekend in the breath-taking Tahoe backcountry

      Survive and rescue

      February 25, 2018

      News Release
      Search and Rescue
      February 21, 2018

      On February 20, 2018 at approximately 7:14 P.M., the Albany County Sheriff’s Office received a report of three Colorado residents that were overdue while snowmobiling in the Snowy Range Mountains. The caller had limited information regarding possible locations of the three men.

      Search teams consisting of Albany County Deputies and Albany County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteer’s, prepared to begin searching at sunrise on February 21st .

      At approximately 1:00 a.m., our office was notified that one of the lost subjects had contacted a family member by cell phone. He was instructed by Deputies on how to access his GPS on his cell phone. His GPS coordinates put his location near the Quealy warming hut on “N” trail. The Carbon County Sheriff’s Office also received a broken 911 call from this subject as well. This subject reported that he was attempting to walk to the warming hut, however due to the depth of snow and extremely cold temperatures, he felt he wouldn’t survive.

      At 2:30 a.m., our office deployed a Tucker snow cat to the area to locate the missing subject. At approximately 3:30 a.m., deputies located the subject in good health, but he was extremely cold. He reported that his party had experienced mechanical issues with one of the snowmobiles and another had become stuck in deep snow. He stayed with the two disabled snowmobiles while the other two rode double on a snowmobile back to the Green Rock parking area, to retrieve another snowmobile around 5:00 p.m. on Feb 20th. The subject that stayed with the disabled snowmobiles made a fire with what little dry wood he could find, until the fire went out. The other subjects had not returned by midnight, so he attempted to walk towards a warming hut located approximately one and one half miles away.

      At approximately 11:00 a.m., on February 21st , our search teams located the other two missing subjects on “O” trail near Twin Lakes. They were escorted back to the parking area. It was determined that they had become disoriented and had taken a wrong turn while heading back to the truck. They had dug a snow cave and made a fire to survive the night.

      The Albany County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind the public of the dangers of snowmobiling in the Snowy Range and the importance of having a plan, sticking to the plan and being prepared for the worst. We would recommend that all riders carry a backpack containing a GPS, trail maps, several ways to start a fire, water, food and extra dry clothing.

      Typically during searches it’s easier for the search teams to locate stationary objects such as snowmobiles. If you become stuck it’s the best practice to remain with the machine, make a shelter, fire and stay put. It’s extremely risky to attempt to walk far distances in deep snow.

      Undersheriff DeBree

      Poland being villanized.

      February 18, 2018

      Poland’s government says the law is needed to protect Poland from being slandered for crimes committed by Nazi Germans that took place during the 1939-45 occupation and to make the wartime suffering of Poles clear to the world. Poland lost six million citizens during the war, half of them Jews.

      Several uses for aluminum foil great survival tool

      January 28, 2018

      Aluminum foil is probably one of the most popular items used in the kitchen, especially for baking and wrapping food. But, this versatile product is also a good addition to your survival kit as it has a lot of uses when you’re outdoors.

      7 Aluminum Foil Uses When You’re Out In The Wild

      Being a wilderness aficionado, you need to be resourceful and learn how to maximize the use of an item by repurposing it. There are several ways you can repurpose a simple household item such as an aluminum foil and use it for your survival when you’re outdoors. Let me share with you these 7 ways you can use aluminum foil while you’re exploring outdoors. Scroll on!

      1. Shelter Insulator


      To keep the heat in your survival shelter, you can use aluminum foil as an insulator. Put an aluminum foil lining inside your shelter to keep you warm when you’re outdoors. You can also do this in your sleeping bag. Simply put a heavy-duty aluminum foil under it, this will also protect your sleeping bag against moisture.

      2. Electricity Conductor


      When your flashlight goes off in the night and the spring in the battery container becomes loose, you can replace it with an aluminum foil. Just make a substitute as wide and thick as the spring and the aluminum foil will act as the electrical conductor.

      PREVIEW
      PRODUCT
      RATING
      PRICE

      Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, 50 Square Feet ~ 2 Pack

      $12.18
      Buy on Amazon
      3. Lighting


      At camp nights, sometimes your flashlight isn’t bright enough for you to see in the dark. To brighten up your lights, you can use aluminum foil to intensify the light. Try attaching the shiny side of the aluminum foil to your source of light to improve its brightness.

      4. Instant Plate


      When you’ve run out of paper plates while you’re outdoors, aluminum foil can serve as your substitute plate. Just fold it into a form of a plate and voila, you’re good to eat! It could also be easily disposed after usage or you can clean it up and reuse it for later.

      PREVIEW
      PRODUCT
      RATING
      PRICE

      XIAFEI New Disposable Durable Aluminum Oblong Foil Pan, Take-Out Pans, Pack of 50 With Board Lids

      $13.99
      Buy on Amazon
      5. Keep Equipment Dry


      When the rain starts to pour, you can use aluminum foil to wrap up your things to prevent them from getting wet. Prioritize the things that can get broken or you can’t afford getting soaked like electrical gadgets and matches. You must remember though that this would not make your things waterproof but it will definitely lessen the risk of getting wet.

      6. Fishing Lure


      Because of the reflective property of the aluminum foil, it can attract the fishes in the water. Use a little piece of aluminum foil as your fishing lure. Shape the aluminum foil like a small baitfish then attach it to your fishing hook.

      7. Sharpen Blade


      If you want to sharpen a dull pair of scissors, you can rub its blades in a thick piece of aluminum foil against both sides of the blade for about two to three minutes. After doing so, you can now use your scissors easily. You can also do this trick with other blades like your survival knife but you’ll be needing a thicker aluminum foil. Make sure to be extra careful as you might cut yourself.

      PREVIEW
      PRODUCT
      RATING
      PRICE

      Hoffman Richter HR-30 Tactical Folding Knife

      $38.95
      Buy on Amazon
      Watch this video to learn how to boil water using aluminum foil:


      These are just some of the survival uses of aluminum foil that my friends I tried while camping outdoors, but I’ve heard there are a lot more uses it offers. If you’re about to head out for an adventure, you might want to pack some aluminum foil in your bug out bag. Who knows, you might be needing these hacks when you’re out in the wild.

      What other aluminum foil hacks do you know? Have you tried any of these hacks before?

      Where to build shelters

      January 24, 2018
      • Don’t build your shelter in a ditch, a ravine, or any other place where rainwater could potentially accumulate. Keep distant from rivers as well.
      • Make sure the ground is not damp. If it is, cover the ground with leaves and smooth twigs.
      • Remove the sharp edges of the branches to keep yourself from getting injured.
      • Don’t use rotten or extremely dry branches. Aside from being a fire hazard, they are not exactly sturdy.
      • Set up your shelter in a space, which is relatively free from rocks.
      • Don’t hurt living trees as much as possible.