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Galileo-LawinenFon turns a smartphone into an avalanche transceiver

• http://www.gizmag.com, By Darren Quick
 But a new smartphone app and add-on hardware component could provide an alternative that is not only cheaper than dedicated avalanche transceivers, but also provides additional functionality.

Unlike avalanche apps that rely on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals emitted from a smartphone, as well as GPS, to help locate a buried avalanche victim, the Galileo-LawinenFon (lawinen is German for avalanche) system being developed by researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) can provide greater accuracy thanks to a piece of hardware called Galileo-SmartLVS that connects to a smartphone via USB.

Packing a 3D magnetic field antenna for picking up signals, an analog-digital converter, a satellite navigation receiver, accelerometers and a reserve battery, the Galileo-SmartLVS turns a smartphone into an avalanche transceiver with the ability to draw on magnetic field signals and the combined signals of the USA's GPS, Europe's Galileo and Russia's GLONASS satellite positioning systems to pinpoint buried avalanche victims.

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