Wolfgang Inninger, Gerd Waizmann

Today, avalanche victims are still located with techniques and searching methods that have been used for decades. Galileo offers the great opportunity to use a state-of-the-art localisation system to improve efficiency in finding people who have been buried. The Avalanche Rescue Navigator is a GNSS-based, nextgeneration rescue device which facilitates the quick rescue of avalanche victims via accurate localisation. This is achieved by measuring the flux lines from buried transmitters in 3D. The exact location of the measurement is the basis for the location process. The high-precision localisation is realised by a multisatnav system that uses existing GNSS services and Galileo. With this combination of information, the position of the victim can be calculated relative to the user’s current position by means of an algorithm. ARN accordingly provides information on the distance, direction and depth of all detected victims.

ARN detects buried victims equipped with mobile phones or standardised avalanche beepers and locates the definite 3D position of multiple avalanche victims instantly and simultaneously. Rescue teams are guided to within a metre of avalanche victims quickly and directly via GNSS.

The aim of ARN is to serve the global market for avalanche transceivers by replacing conventional technologies. The system is easy enough for any winter athlete to use. Meanwhile, ARN is also designed for all other kinds of professional search and rescue scenarios in which exact relative positions are needed – for example, when individuals are buried due to an earthquake.

Thanks to high-precision localisation, direct guidance, and improved coordination, ARN accelerates the overall search process by up to 40% compared to regular searching methods. This significantly increases the chance of survival. The system also facilitates other value-adding applications such as information and warning services, as well as an optimal order of rescue based on the indicated depths of the victims located.


Wolfgang Inninger
Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow
and Logistics (IML)
83209 Prien am Chiemsee
phone: +49 (0) 80 51 90 11 16
e-mail: wolfgang.inninger@prien.iml.fraunhofer.de

Gerd Waizmann
proTime GmbH
83209 Prien am Chiemsee
phone: +49 (0) 80 51 69 160
e-mail: gerd.waizmann@protime.de