More than 150 people die due to avalanche accidents every year; this figure could be drastically reduced were the victims to be swiftly localized: the survival rate is 90% if rescued within 15 minutes, but decreases to 25% after 45 minutes, due to asphyxiation.
Various specialized localization devices exist, but are typically difficult for the average user to operate, and the penetration among skiers is low. At the same time, the introduction of so-called smartphones is revolutionizing the use of mobile services and applications. Connecting clusters of smartphone which are in close proximity to each other offers the opportunity to solve localization problems which previously would not have been possible. These facts together motivate the initial focus of COREPOS: an app that can be installed on a consumer device such as a smartphone, which transforms the device into an independent positioning device. The localization system will only be dependent on the signals transmitted and received by the user devices themselves - thus our proposed system will be redundant of any external infrastructure.
Avalanche positioning is just the first step of the proposed system; COREPOS aims to develop software libraries that can be used to locate peers. These software libraries will be licensed to interested parties, and are thus to be embedded in a multitude of application verticals.
This is an application area with big commercial as well as societal benefits. The unique principle in COREPOS is that the peers are, in addition to supplying data, also instructed on how to move in order to maximize localization performance
Fields of science
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