GRIMASSE: the future of SAR operations for General Aviation starts now!

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Last 31st of January 2018, Barcelona hosted the first GRIMASSE workshop

GRIMASSE, follow-up of GRICAS, is a project funded by the European GNSS Agency, aiming at identifying the Search-and-Rescue needs for General aviation users (including helicopters), and developing operational concepts answering to these needs.

GRIMASSE proposes to experiment and validate a whole set of innovative operational procedures to improve the efficiency of aeronautical Search and Rescue (SAR) operations (reduced latency, better access to information during distress event, better distribution of the alerts, …), by developing SWIM (System Wide Information Management) based tools for Mission Control Centres (MCC) and Rescue Coordination Centers (RCC) and a cost effective ELT-DT for flight-clubs and private or professional pilots taking benefit of the unique Galileo SAR service and its RLM to maximize the SAR operations efficiency and improve aeronautical safety all around the world.

In order to ensure that the solutions developed in GRIMASSE are fully aligned with SAR user needs, the main relevant SAR stakeholders and users were invited to take part in this first workshop, which aimed at collecting inputs from all the attendees.

The workshop, organized by PildoLabs, Thales Alenia Space, ELTA and AOPA, counted with the attendance of important SAR actors such as French RCC, Spanish Salvamento Marítimo, UK Maritime Coastguard Agency, Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation, ASECNA, and aircraft operators like Aeroclub Sabadell and InfinitAir.

Interesting discussions took place during the whole day, and presentations from UK Maritime Coastguard Agency and Thales Alenia Space among others were the main focus of questions and sharing points in common.

The outcomes of the workshop consolidated and enriched the solution proposed by the consortium to design a General Aviation (GA) SAR solution, with key elements identified:

Imagen 2For the distress beacon, the solution shall:

  • Benefit from the assets of PLB (portable and small) and ELT (DT capability, designed for aeronautical use), with both manual activation and automatic in-flight activation capabilities
  • Be flexible to take into account the large range of aircrafts included in the GA family and they specificities in terms of flight envelop and activities, and still be easy to install and maintain to ensure a large adoption by GA stakeholders
  • Be affordable
  • Simplify registration (e.g. mobile phone application) and update of the registration form to contribute to better SAR operations

For the SAR communication tools, the solution shall:

  • Minimize the manual operations that are time consuming and subject to human errors
  • Promote the standardization of data exchanged between all SAR operation stakeholders in particular between different countries
  • Contribute to the fact that all the SAR operation stakeholders share the same information at the same time
  • Participate to the promotion of registration and ease it for the users in terms of first registration and update
Two questionnaires have been produced as outputs of the workshop to collect more inputs. They can be filled online here:

The questionnaires and conclusions of the workshop have been shared with workshop participants, Cospas-Sarsat representatives, RCCs and aircraft operators in Europe and worldwide.

Ladies and Gentleman, GRIMASSE has officially taken off!

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