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Drone demo for sea rescue
Published:  01 February, 2017

In a world first a distress alert initiated from a smartphone at sea will autonomously launch a drone from the Irish coastline to search for and locate the casualty. 

The demonstration is planned to take place in Crosshaven, Cork, southwest Ireland on 13 February (note the new date, previously 6 February) and involves the integration of three technology systems to alert, search and respond to an emergency.

In a world first, a distress alert initiated from a smartphone at sea will autonomously launch a drone from the Cork coastline to search for and locate the casualty. Once overhead, the drone’s sensors will stream back situational awareness information to the emergency operations centre coordinating the response.

The demonstration will show a number of capabilities, including incident alerting from a Safetrx app on a smartphone and user information including GPS location and tracking being made available to both the Safetrx console and to Drone SAR and D4H.

Safetrx is a proven maritime safety platform and its maritime search and rescue application has over 695,000 recorded hours of use around the world. 

During the demonstration, Safetrx will trigger Drone SAR to generate a drone mission to fly autonomously to the given GPS location and from there it streams high resolution video back to its management console as well as to the D4H situational awareness platform. The latter will co-ordinate the issuing of operations instructions to first responders such as coast guard and health services. The drone mission will also be tracked and displayed on Safetrx.

The speedy integration of the three solutions is a result of the flexible software architectures behind the three systems and the commitment of the companies involved to build the ASR platform.

Oisin McGrath, CEO of Drone SAR, commented: “Using the most advanced drone technology, our rescue software and the Safetrx app we can now fly drones autonomously to a distress signal. Reducing search time and risk to personnel is key and if one life is saved, that is mission success for us. We are very excited to now be able to prove our integration with Safetrx, which commenced in November last year, works so well.” 

Picture credit: David Ortega Baglietto / Shutterstock, Inc