New LifeSeeker Data Highlights Global Use of Phone Signals in Search and Rescue Missions

CENTUM has today released data covering the past year showing how Lifeseeker, its airborne phone location system, is helping Search and Rescue (SAR) teams around the world. With the number of successful missions increasing every year, it is becoming clear that Lifeseeker is an important part of SAR teams’ arsenal, particularly for rescues in urban and rural areas.

Lifeseeker is now used by nearly 40 SAR operators in over 20 countries across four continents. In the past year, 70% of missions were conducted in Europe, 20% in North America, and the remaining 10% were split between Oceania and Asia.

It enables SAR operators to locate people quickly and accurately, saving lives and optimizing operational costs. It does so by treating their mobile phones as beacons, meaning the only requirement is that the phone is turned on. There is no need for the phone to be connected to a network, or for the owner to be able to use it.

Héctor Estévez, CEO of CENTUM, said, “We have reached the point where enough search and rescue operators are using Lifeseeker that we have the volume to compile statistically-relevant data about how and where Lifeseeker is used. This is important data because it enables us to focus our developments in the right direction.

“Lifeseeker has been used in a wide variety of missions, from finding people trapped in avalanches to a pensioner who fell over and became disorientated while gathering mushrooms. And it was used onboard both SAR helicopters and drones. This data shows just how adaptable Lifeseeker is and that it can be used in any environment find people quickly and efficiently.”

The key Lifeseeker data from the past 12 months is as follows:

  • Five minutes: the average geolocation time using Lifeseeker
  • Under ten minutes: the average search time
  • Under 30 meters: the average accuracy
  • Within five meters: top accuracy score
  • 75% of the missions were carried out in remote or mountainous environments
  • 5% of these occurred under avalanche conditions
  • 25% of the missions took place in urban or semi-urban areas
  • Lifeseeker was used on helicopters in 65% of the missions
  • It was used on drones for the remaining 35%

Following extensive testing and authorizations, Lifeseeker is now being used by SAR operators throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Users include the Royal Canadian Air Force, REGA, the Swiss Air Force, and the Vigili del Fuoco. And the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security recently selected Lifeseeker following a highly competitive bidding process.

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