Day 2 Update: SAR Hackathon, Canada


Here’s an update live from SARscene in Canada as we approach mid-way in the challenge. Three teams have formed, solving some of the big problems put to them by our SAR domain experts.

The 12,000 strong Ground-SAR (GSAR) community in Canada are represented here at SARscene in their masses. Over 500 people have congregated on Prince Edward Island on the eastern coast of Canada to drive SAR into the future, discussing and learning about training, prevention, and response methods.

Just off the lobby of the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel and Conference Center the skills gathered here at the SAR Hackathon are amazing. We’ve got back-end developers, mobile app developers, GIS experts, front-end developers, usability experts, SAR experts, SAR prevention, and hardware hackers.

When polled, the SAR experts here at the conference spoke of their challenges in an offline remote environment, collecting position data, and the ad-hoc nature of a search. The PEI developers group showed up in force, and along with technical assistance from Esri Canada, Antris, BlueToque Software, and CAE, D4H Technologies the technical themes undertaken are open data, data portability, and data classifications.

Project Team 1

Team 1 are working on the future connected team, where search parties can register with a smart phone on the spot, generating an ad hoc network of search tracks feeding back into a central server where it’s displayed on a map. The data on the server is portable, and accessible by other apps. This data is being fed into the operations management software D4H™ LIVE to overlay an incident management layer on top of it.

Project Team 2

Team 2 are focussing on the offline world, creating a locally available server and mobile app that teams can use when there is no network coverage to collect up tracks, and on return sync them with the server. They’re working on an Esri MapSAR integration with the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation where maps can be printed out, handed to searchers, or downloaded to their smartphone. Once they return and sync their tracks, they can be provided an updated map with the other searchers tracks over the same period on it.

Project Team 3

Team 3 are focussing on hardware connecting up Recon Instruments glasses with a search plan, where they hope to be able to increase the chance of detection by slowing down the turning rate of a searchers head when they are scanning for objects. The glasses will detect the movement by beeping in their ear if the movement is too fast. Meanwhile they’ve an Apple iWatch integration that uses a haptic touch vibration on your wrist to notify you if you’re walking off bearing.

This is some cool stuff, come to the tradeshow over the weekend to see the results on booth 28.

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