This is typically the case of adventure travel with a powered paraglider (paramotor) where distances of up to 200 kilometres can be flown in a single flight in 4-5 hours. During such flights, many incidents can occur due to changing weather or material issue on your glider/engine bringing you in an emergency and where fast actions are needed to transmit your position in case things would turn wrong. This is even truer if you travel in a place where communications networks are inexistent. In these cases, the use of a 406MHz satellite distress beacon such as a PLB (Personal Location Beacon) which can be quickly activated by a simple “press button” could save your life. The signal of such distress beacon can be localized by the Galileo Search and Rescue System and transmitted to the relevant national Search and Rescue centres.
Want to clear any doubt on whether this works efficiently or whether Galileo is capable of localizing you fast enough and with sufficient precision as a moving target to enable the rescue? This is what a team of people of the Galileo Programme with the support of the French National Space Agency and the Cospas-Sarsat French Mission Control Centre has tried to demonstrate through the test of the activation of a PLB during a paramotor flight in a controlled environment.
- 23 April 2021