Alp’ride Avalanche Airbag System

Calling Mountain rescue with no network

Challenges and Solutions

Every year, there are situations where mountain rescue team can’t locate people because of bad weather conditions or lack of information on the position of the victim. In some scenarii no GSM network is available and/or the Smartphone batteries quickly dry.

The SECURELOC, a patented concept from LETI, is using PMR radio frequencies (Walkie Talkie) in a point to point link. It becomes then possible to send GPS coordinate to a distance of 10km without the need of a network (white area). In GSM covered area thanks to a Bluetooth connection with the user smartphone, SECURELOC allow to transmit a distress message including the position.

There is also strong evolution of the ski practice towards Freeride or Ski Mountaineering with an increased number of skiers at risk. Alp’ride, a Swiss SME has developed an airbag system that maintains the skier on top of the snow slide.

In the frame of the gateone-project, the French research organisation and the Swiss SME have partner to integrate the SECURELOC concept into an avalanche airbag.  Whenever the airbag is inflated, GPS coordinates are sent both on the GSM network whenever it is available and PMR waves for a longer reach and extended operation time.

Gateone Support

Alpride had already received some customer request for the addition of such a feature to its existing products. However, the Company does not have the required know-how and resources to initiate such a development.  

The gateone-project offered to the Swiss SME the opportunity to evaluate the SECURELOC technology from LETI in a European framework. The matchmaking has been performed thanks to the proactive action of the Project and the 2 organisations did not know each other before the Initiative.

Impact/What’s next

The concept has been showcased to the Rescue teams and Alp’ride customers and received very positive feedbacks. The project successfully reached the gate 1 of the innovation cycle, and the partners are now in the final phase to build the product roadmap. This product will help the SME to increase its differentiation and position as a security supplier for mountain practice.