New camera technology improves Alaska rescue searches

By – Associated Press – Thursday, March 14, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – New technology is reducing Alaska search and rescue operations from days to minutes.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday that the Alaska Department of Public Safety’s aerial search teams are using a new $600,000 camera-and-mapping system with an infrared camera that picks up heat signatures from people in distress.

Both Alaska State Police A-STAR helicopters were upgraded to the new technology in mid-January.

The new high-zoom cameras allow the helicopters to fly at higher altitudes and quickly cover more territory.

The cameras combine with “augmented reality” mapping that overlays navigation information onto images.

The two-person teams include a pilot and tactical flight officer who monitors the camera and navigation system. Currently there is only one flight officer in the program, with another scheduled to join later this month.

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Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn

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