Revolutionizing search and rescue in Thailand with Thales Alenia Space's advanced technology

Source – Thales

Thailand enhances search and rescue with space technology

  • Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales and Leonardo, is utilizing its expertise in space technology to revolutionize search and rescue operations.
  • Thales Alenia Space views space as a new frontier, working towards improving humanity’s way of life on Earth through more sustainable means.

Search and rescue (SAR) is a critical function that saves lives and protects communities from the dangers of natural and man-made disasters. The ability to quickly and accurately locate and rescue individuals in distress is essential for emergency response teams and organizations worldwide. With the rapid advancement of technology, it has become increasingly important for SAR operations to access the most advanced and reliable tools available. Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), is utilizing its expertise in space technology to revolutionize search and rescue operations.

One such tool provided by Thales Alenia Space is the COSPAS-SARSAT MEOSAR Service, a complete SAR operational system that allows for the instant detection and location of distress signals from COSPAS-SARSAT beacons on land, in the air, and at sea. This system utilizes the Galileo satellite positioning system, which provides accurate and reliable location data over a radius of 2,500 km centered around Bangkok. This service is vital for ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals in distress. Thales Alenia Space’s continued innovation in this area will undoubtedly save lives in the future.

In addition to the MEOSAR Service, Thales Alenia Space offers the innovative MEOLUT Next product. This uses a phased array antenna to track up to 30 satellites, significantly enhancing distress beacon detection and expanding coverage. This system can detect distress signals up to 5,000 km away, and it is a much more efficient alternative than conventional MEOLUT systems, which rely on six large parabolic antennas.

Revolutionizing search and rescue in Thailand with Thales Alenia Space's advanced technology

MEOLUT Next – Thales Alenia Space (Source – Thales)

Thales Alenia Space’s advanced technology is already in operation by the main users of COSPAS-SARSAT, including the USA, Canada, France, the European Union, and Togo. It has been proven to be a reliable and effective tool for SAR operations, as demonstrated by a recent incident in the Indian Ocean. On November 18, 2022, a MEOLUT Next antenna picked up a distress signal from a yacht 2,000 km southwest of La Réunion. The MEOLUT Next system could pinpoint the boat’s location and guide rescue crews to the scene, resulting in the skipper’s rescue.

“This is the first contract to deploy our MEOLUT Next solution in Asia, which is now present on the four continents of the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.” said Benoit Broudy, Vice President Navigation at Thales Alenia Space in France. “Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping humankind to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. Saving lives is something that ties in with our company’s aspirations, as demonstrated by our contribution to COSPAS-SARSAT Search and Rescue services.”

The potential use of Thales’s space advanced technology.

Thales Alenia Space plays a vital role in various industries and applications, including telecommunications, navigation, earth observation, and scientific research. Seeing how Thales Alenia Space’s advanced technology can be used for search and rescue operations, it is interesting to see how this technology could address landslide issues in Malaysia.

In December 2022, a tragic landslide occurred in Malaysia, claiming the lives of 21 individuals, including children, who were sleeping in tents at an unlicensed campsite. Search teams had to navigate through thick mud and fallen trees to search for survivors. The landslide happened in Selangor state, near the capital city Kuala Lumpur, and a hillside collapsing into an organic farm. According to reports, a massive amount of earth fell from approximately 30 meters (100 feet), covering an area of roughly one acre (0.4 hectares).

Regarding a landslide incident, Thales Alenia Space technology could play an essential role in monitoring the land, identifying potential hazards, and taking action to mitigate risks. Their Earth observation satellites can be used to detect and monitor changes in land and soil structure, detect movements, and provide early warning of potential landslides. This capability allows for more efficient and effective deployment of resources and aid during a disaster response.

Perhaps, Thales Alenia Space’s technology can also be used for rapid response and assessment of the damage after a landslide has occurred. They can use their high-resolution imagery and data to identify affected areas and track the progression of landslides. This will enable emergency response teams to prioritize their efforts and resources more effectively.