IAI, US co TLC to develop drones for locating disaster survivors

Earthquake damage Photo: Shutterstock ASAP Creative

Israel Aerospace's RES-Q-CELL system will be miniaturized and mounted on drones that can reach anywhere in a disaster area.

The cyber unit of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) and US company TLC will cooperate in the development of a new system that will use drones to locate people trapped in a disaster area. The joint project is based on a system that IAI already developed called RES-Q-CELL for the rescue and emergency services.

The system, which makes it possible to locate missing persons in disaster areas such as ruins after an earthquake, is based on cellular pinpointing of survivors. The mobile system utilizes a vehicle. When it is deployed, it can precisely locate anyone with a mobile phone located in the ruins, enabling the rescue forces to focus their searches and shortening the time before the survivors are found.

RES-Q-CELL, developed in the cyber plant of IAI subsidiary Elta System, was unveiled two years ago at a defense exhibition.

The system will now be significantly upgraded through the planned cooperation between IAI and TLC, following a decision by the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD-F) in recent days to invest $2 million in the project. BIRD-F encourages technological cooperation between US and Israeli companies. Support for the venture is in the framework of the First Responder Technologies program for rescue and emergency services jointly sponsored by the US Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security and the Israeli Ministry of Defense and Ministry of the Interior.

"The limitation of the RES-Q-CELL system is that sometimes it cannot be made mobile in a disaster area because of blocked roads and other difficulties on access roads to the area of the event. We therefore decided to take the entire program a step further by simply putting the system on drones that will fly above the ruins and locate casualties by their mobile phones," Elta Systems VP and cyber division general manager Esti Peshin told "Globes" today.

Joint Elta Systems-TLC development teams in the joint venture will face a significant technological challenge - the great weight of the original locating system - 200 kilograms, plus antennas weighing 20 kilograms.

Elta Systems said today that the development teams' main task would be to substantially reduce the system's size, so that it could be installed on three drones operating next to each other in coordination and rapidly locate the survivors in disaster areas. "The project is projected to take two years, after which we will be much better able to use the system under many scenarios. We believe that demand for it from rescue forces around the world will be strong," Peshin added.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 1, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Earthquake damage Photo: Shutterstock ASAP Creative
Earthquake damage Photo: Shutterstock ASAP Creative
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