Safely on the move

Jul 14, 2009

How can rescue units be better protected during disaster operations or avalanche victims be found quicker? A new localization system connects satellite-based positioning systems with terrestrial locating aids and situation-dependent sensory systems.

Firemen are exposed to various dangers during their missions: poisonous, harmful gases, blocked escape routes and the threat of buildings collapsing. The head of the operation needs to know where the men are currently located. Experts rely on global systems (GNSS) - which, in addition to , include Europe's Galileo and the Russian GLONASS - to help them locate rescue units and all the necessary rescue equipment und devices. Fraunhofer scientists have set up a Galileo Lab in which new GNSS-based localization technologies are being developed.

The researchers use the satellite navigation system Galileo, which, in contrast to GPS, is not controlled by the military. This way it is possible to implement special services for civil applications, for example in rescue missions. In the Fraunhofer Galileo Lab, researchers from nine Fraunhofer Institutes, together with the Fraunhofer Traffic and Transportation Alliance, are working on locating people and goods in industry, commerce, transportation and mobility.

"When analyzing various target groups such as logistics, travel assistance or security services, it quickly becomes clear that the tasks of the system architecture are similar. Similar structures and contents are always required on similar terminals - for instance, data on where a person is located, sensors which indicate specific values such as the concentration of harmful gas, or terminals which act as clients. It is our goal to offer a universal software architecture which allows application profiles to be configured like in a modular construction system," states project manager Werner Schönewolf from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK. Take for example travel assistance. A person traveling by train in the future could be directed to the right connecting train at a railway station via cell phone or PDA without having to explicitly operate the device. "This is possible through context recognition in the mobile device. We connect the travel plan details with the positioning system, allowing people to navigate to the correct train through even the most complex train stations," Schönewolf explains. "In the event of an emergency, we link the location with harmful-gas sensors and can detect dangers at an early stage."

The experts not only use the Galileo data, but are also testing combined receivers for various satellite systems because the most precise navigation and, above all, the highest positioning accuracy in cities and canyons, etc., can be achieved by using the collective data of all the satellites in the sky.

Source: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (news : web)

Explore further: Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Trimble Introduces Future-Ready GNSS Positioning Technology

Oct 06, 2005

Trimble announced Wednesday that it has developed a software-based technology supporting Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) to maximize flexibility and minimize cost in end-user positioning products that will use a ...

Galileo to support global search and rescue

Aug 09, 2007

The detection of emergency beacons will be greatly improved by the introduction of Europe's satellite positioning system, Galileo. The Galileo satellites will carry transponders to relay distress signals to ...

Galileo launch delayed

Mar 13, 2006

The success of the first launch in Europe's satellite-navigation system means the next Galileo launch can be pushed back until autumn.

China launches gps satellite: report

Apr 15, 2009

China launched a navigational satellite, the nation's space administration reported, the second in a series of up to 30 orbiters to comprise a global positioning network.

Receivers key to Galileo success

Oct 26, 2006

Europe's navigation system requires new receiver designs to make use of the transmissions from its satellite constellation. European industry is developing and supplying receivers for the in-orbit validation ...

Two years in space for Galileo satellite

Dec 19, 2007

On 28 December, it will be two years since GIOVE-A - the first Galileo satellite - was launched by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, in Kazakhstan. This satellite demonstrates the progress Europe has made in setting ...

Recommended for you

Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

Dec 20, 2014

On Friday, the BBC reported on a NASA email exchange with a space station which involved astronauts on the International Space Station using their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in ...

First drone in Nevada test program crashes in demo

Dec 19, 2014

A drone testing program in Nevada is off to a bumpy start after the first unmanned aircraft authorized to fly without Federal Aviation Administration supervision crashed during a ceremony in Boulder City.

Fully automated: Thousands of blood samples every hour

Dec 19, 2014

Siemens is supplying automation technology for the longest and one of the most cutting-edge sample processing lines in any clinical laboratory. The line, or automation track, 200 meters long, in Marlborough, ...

Explainer: What is 4-D printing?

Dec 19, 2014

Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – is 30 years old this year. Today, it's found not just in industry but in households, as the price of 3D printers has fallen below US$1,000. Knowing you can p ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.