Mountain Rescue Magazine Winter 2021

Future forward for SARLOC with the new SAR-EyesOn © augmented reality technology RUSS HORE

Way back in 2007, the ability to locate Lost Persons (LostPers) using their mobile phone browser was developed, and the innovative SARLOC technology was released to UK MR teams and search and rescue teams around the world. The LostPer is sent a text message with a URL in it and when they click on it, the location of the person is displayed on mapping systems back at base. The URL contains a token that expires after a period of time to stop LostPers showing their mates how they were found and sending the location of their house/pub to SARLOC. The LostPer’s location is also emailed to teams. When I presented an update at the MREW Conference in Leeds, in 2012, the last slide in the presentation gave a taster of the future tools that may be available to SAR teams. Well the future has come a little bit closer with another innovation from the SARLOC stable. Most people will be familiar with apps that provide an augmented reality (AR) display of your surroundings. The smartphone’s camera displays a ‘forward looking’ image and the software overlays items of interest on top of it. Think of it as similar to the ‘head

When there are many items added to the display it can become very cluttered. If a team member is in a party of other team members, they do not want to see other team members’ radios in the party cluttering up the view. Therefore, SAR-EyesOn allows the user to configure a minimum and maximum range, between which they want to display information (Figures 3), effectively creating a doughnut around the user so only items between the green and red circles are displayed (Figure 4). The number ‘8’ next to the ‘AR View’ tab indicates the number of items currently being displayed. The compass screen (Figure 5) gives an overview of tracked items with the green line being North. SARLOC technology hits are shown as red dots in this view. SAR-EyesOn currently only displays point data but will be extended to show line and area data. Line data could include cave systems, effectively making the ground between the user and the cave transparent. Area data could show search areas. The possibilities are endless. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT RUSS HORE ON SARLOC@RUSS-HORE.CO.UK

up display’ fighter pilots see in the cockpit. An app called SAR-EyesOn© will soon be available to teams, that goes part of the way towards what I had envisaged. Currently running on iOS (iPads/iPhones), SAR-EyesOn allows points data to be displayed in AR. Point data could be SARLOC technology hits, team members radios, aircraft, vehicles, etc. These can all be displayed, overlaid on the view from the user’s phone camera. Navigating to a hit will be as simple as holding up the phone and seeing how far away and above/below you they are. The AR view (Figure 1, opposite page) shows a SARLOC hit 0.7km away and 29m below the user. As the user moves, the display is updated to show the current distance/relative altitude. Fixed items such as a radio mast can be added to the display as shown. The location of team radios are also shown in this view. Although altitude data is not currently available from the radios, SAR-EyesOn uses innovative back end technology to estimate the altitude to within 25m. The detail view (Figure 2) gives a tabular view of the data including distance and altitude.

Aberglaslyn team members responded with three vehicles and fifteen personnel, along with the Welsh Ambulance Services, EMRTS Wales and North Wales Cave Rescue. A team doctor was lowered into the quarry to assess and treat the casualty who was found to be in a serious but stable condition with multiple injuries to his head and legs. He was lifted from the quarry floor, then conveyed to Ysbyty Gwynedd and onwards to the Major Trauma Centre at Stoke Hospital. Wishing him a speedy recovery. 40 metres at the disused quarry near Penygroes whilst tending his livestock, and come to rest on the quarry floor unable to move. NOVEMBER: FARMER RESCUED AFTER SERIOUS FALL IN QUARRY The farmer had fallen from a significant height of 30-


Photos © Aberglaslyn MRT.

The iconic rescue box at Styhead Pass has been retired after many years of service, with a replacement in the pipeline so keep eyes peeled for a shiny new box. There have been several versions since the first was installed in 1938. The original stretcher box was destroyed by a storm in the late-1940s.



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