Free hardware/software solutions for Search and Rescue Mountain operations

A feasibility study in the Dolomites


One of the most impressive mountain areas in the Alps are the Dolomites. Tourists visit the Dolomites for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, climbing, cycling and many others. However, unexpected events, such as weather conditions, poor experience in mountains, underestimation of the terrain conditions, bad planning, weak technical skills, among others, can increase the risk of accidents. The activities that represent better these events are ski touring, rock/ice climbing, mountaineering and hiking. In this work, we propose a localization system based on LoRa (pycom) and Bluetooth (beacon) devices to find lost people inside of the natural park Bletterbach GEOPARC. The system consists on a wearable sensor device worn in a helmet that transmits actual position to fixed stations. In case of emergency, the stations provide the last checking point to a centralized system, and authorities can start a procedure to find the victim with the aid of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The UAV transmits the exact coordinate to mountain rescue teams, and terrain conditions (imagery) to effectively plan the rescue mission. This work aims to accelerate the process of search and rescue operations that could be extended to different scenarios.