Locating individuals over vast areas is the task of search and rescue personnel and the military and while many systems exist for signaling a searcher, the bulk of those are active devices such as a radio signal or a flare initiated by the lost individual. Active devices may be effective but have a cost in that they signal a general position of the individual to the search party and anyone else in the area. Further, such signals may not be able to include information about the person.
Navy researchers have developed a unique way to identify a person when that individual does not have traditional communications systems (radio) available or cannot use such devices. This solution is embodied in a geodesic structure that is quickly assembled or inflated by the ground-based person. Configurable panels of the structure are designed to reflect or resonate a RF signal emitted by a plane or UAS passing overhead. Based on the design of the panel, a signature signal is reflected back to the plane and that unique signal is compared to a library of stored signals on the plane. In this manner, the search team can identify who the person is, their location and other information concerning their status such as whether they need immediate extraction, medical assistance, the presence of unfriendlies in the area or if no assistance is necessary.
In one example, the structure can be designed to reflect or resonate an altered RF signal based on specific aircraft RF emitters such as a search radar, a weather radar, a fire control radar, etc. as well as a more specific type of emitter which is not designed for another task such as a purpose built RF system. The airborne system includes components that transmit RF signals and receive altered RF signals as well as recognizing each altered RF signal and associating it with a particular RRFP as well as recognizing sequences of RRFPs and associating the sequences with a particular message or identification.
- System can be used on land or water
- PAR can also have a certain shape that can be readily detected by a system that employs pattern recognition which is not found in an expected terrain or a normal terrain or area
- By actively and adaptively altering the panels permeability and permittivity, an operator or designer can ensure that a PAR embodiment is ‘jam resistant’ and or aid in preventing undesired or unintentional interference
- US patent 9,748,643 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers