Technology designed to locate missing people in just minutes using their cellphones has been developed by the Spain-based firm CENTUM Research & Technology.

According to its developers, the device, dubbed Lifeseeker, promises to aid Search and Rescue (SAR) teams in locating missing people in a matter of minutes. The device is designed exclusively for use with SAR helicopters and it uses missing people’s cellphones to locate them, the company noted.

Source: CENTUM Research & TechnologySource: CENTUM Research & Technology

To accomplish this, the Lifeseeker device serves as a miniature cellphone tower to communicate with missing people — as long as their cellphone is on — and it can even work in regions with limited or no cellphone service. The radio-based technology can be easily attached inside a helicopter in just minutes, the company added.

The developers report that the technology can detect cell phones within 20 miles and precisely locate them within a 3 mile radius. During trials conducted at the La Plata Canyon in Colorado, Lifeseeker helped locate test “missing people” within just two minutes and 14 seconds of being activated.

“As we detect the phone, basically a blotch shows up on the map, and as we fly around that area, that blotch gets smaller and smaller and smaller until we can see exactly where they are,” Dr. Tim Durkin, a SAR program coordinator for Colorado Highland Helicopters, explained.

Once missing persons are located using the device, SAR teams can send ground crews to the missing person’s location or land the helicopter depending upon conditions.

The developers of Lifeseeker are awaiting U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval before it can be sold for SAR missions.

For more on the Lifeseeker device, watch the accompanying video, which appears courtesy of CENTUM Research & Technology.

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