Avalanches happen. If you fall victim to one during your time on the slopes, knowing that you have the best chance of survival is essential. The Recco reflector and SAR Recco Rescue Helicopter technology is the answer.
The Recco rescue service is an internationally used avalanche burial search system that can be found at over 900 ski resorts around the world and is designed to help professional mountain rescue services find skiers that have been buried by snow or injured by an avalanche or fall.
The additional SAR (search and rescue) helicopter service was first introduced in 2015, is now found in several countries, and offers year-round missing persons services.
A detector is used to scan the territory by searching for signals that are automatically sent from any ski helmet or accessory that’s equipped with the Recco rescue reflector sticker. The helicopter can then follow the signal path to reach the buried or injured skier.
The Recco SAR technology is used by attaching the detector to a rope that is then dangled below the Recco rescue helicopter.
When the helicopter flies at a height of 100m, it is able to scan an area that is 100m wide.
When the speed of the helicopter is 100 km/h this translates to 1.2km coverage within six minutes. This equals to 30 football fields per minute.
Transmitted signals from the Recco advanced reflector technology equipped via a Recco reflector backpack or ski helmet can travel through 20m of snow, confirming its effectiveness even in the event of an avalanche – although it can be just as useful for locating lost persons whom may have had a fall.
SAR ski rescue helicopter services are used in the following countries :
while the technology continues to be rolled out across more resorts each year.
The Recco detector works by receiving the reflected signal as a tone. As the helicopter and receiver get closer to the reflector, the tone becomes stronger.
The technical data of Recco’s SAR helicopter ninth-generation detector is as follows:
Size: 57cm (diameter)
Power source: battery operation, regardless of helicopter type Operating time: 6 hours
Meanwhile, the technical aspects of the passive transponders used as Recco reflectors are as follows:
Recco has been at the heart of ski slope safety for nearly 40 years, with over 2,200 detectors supplied to mountain rescue services worldwide, the SAR helicopter detector truly is a marvel.
It’s important to stay safe and have the correct training when skiing or snowboarding off-piste please check out further blogs below:
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