GRIMASSE project team took benefit of the Winter and Spring to develop the hardware and software that will compose the end-to-end demonstrator of the solution for the in-flight demonstrations of Summer 2019.
ECA Aerospace (former ELTA, worldwide leader of the aviation distress beacon manufacturers) developed the GADGET demonstrator: the first cost-effective distress beacon specifically designed for General Aviation with user-friendly features such as smartphone connected via Bluetooth to the beacon to be used as Remote Control Panel (for manual distress activation and beacon monitoring), easy-registration with QR-code based registration functionality (flash the QR-code and be automatically logged to the pre-filled registration file of your beacon). The GADGET also offers the possibility to test new Galileo Return-Link Services that are under study and developed at European Commission level (part of the GaReLiSE project led by Thales Alenia Space) and in particular the 2-way messaging: a service that allow rescue operators to communicate via short messages with the persons in distress. The GADGET finally integrates a GNSS chip-set (multi constellation GPS and Galileo) developed by STMicroelectronics. The figure here below displays teh GADGET demonstrator.
Beyond the distress beacon demonstrator, PILDO Labs, our Spanish partner, developed software tools for Rescue Coordination Center operators called the SAR SWIM Management System (SSMS). The SSMS is an emergency management platform designed to provide the RCC with a set of software tools and features to ease the emergency information management while reducing response times before, during and after a distress event. Among others, some of the main use cases that SSMS cover are:
- User management features for full SAR operations management;
- Automatic reception/parsing of DTR and SIT messages transmitted by MCCs (see SIT 185 format in [RD1] and [RD2]);
- Automatic request/reception of beacon registry data and flight plan information;
- Automatic statistics/report generation;
- RLSP controls for requesting RLMs.
The SSMS has been designed as a web service, being accessible from any internet browser by using valid user credentials. Using a responsive GUI, the SSMS layout becomes automatically adjusted depending on the monitor size, allowing displaying the application in a readable manner even in tablets or smartphones. The figure here-after displays the SSMS emergency management screen.
To complete the operational chain with the GADGET and the SSMS, Thales Alenia Space MEOLUT Next product will be used to detect and process the GADGET distress messages (alert and cancellation) and emulate the MCC t odeliver the distress data to the RCC via the SSMS and to the simulated Distress Tracking data Repository developed for the demonstration. The aeronautical SAR operational chain is then entirely simulated for the flight demonstrations which offers the possibility to assess the performances of the final solution.
Finally, taking benefit of another project led by Thales Alenia Space, a new homing solution will also be tested as part of GRIMASSE demonstrations. This solution is based on small UAVs used for the final localization of the distress beacon.
End-to-end lab tests of the integrated solution will take place tomorrow Wednesday 22nd of May 2019 between Toulouse and Barcelona and an integration workshop is planned for early July in Barcelona, immediately followed by the dry-run of the first field trial planned to take place in the Aeroclub of Barcelona Sabadell in July 2019.