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SEERAD system to improve sea rescue

Fraunhofer FHR has announced a new project with FH Aachen and Raytheon Anschütz to develop a cost effective sea rescue radar to be used to locate individual persons or small boats over long distances.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}Fraunhofer says that the SEERAD system will involve small transponders, located in life jackets for instance, that reflect the signals of future maritime radars, which then receive these signals using an extension module.

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and is based on the application of harmonic radar technologies.

With conventional maritime radars, Fraunhofer says that it can be difficult to detect small objects at sea in increasing swells because their reflections can barely be distinguished from the uneven surface of the water. For SEERAD, transponders the size of a bank card which can be integrated into life jackets, safety devices, or water sports equipment could return the signal of the maritime radar with twice its frequency.

Extending future maritime radars with a harmonic radar module that sends signals in the S-band and also receives them with twice the frequency in the C-band would allow these reflected signals to be recognised and locate a person who has fallen into the water, the researchers said.

The system’s range will reach up to one kilometre using passive reflectors only (without battery) and up to more than ten kilometres using active transponders powered by a water-activated battery. These tags can be produced at prices of less than ten Euro per piece, the companies said.{/mprestriction}

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