Galileo’s Emergency Warning and Search and Rescue Services to help people in case of disaster
The recent floods that have impacted Europe are increasing the need for a fast and reliable warning system to alert the population in the affected area before a natural disaster strikes.
The Emergency Warning Service (EWS) utilises Galileo’s messaging function to transmit an alert to smartphones with instructions to follow depending on the area the user is located in. Unlike an ordinary telephone message, the service is not based on the GSM network, so it can reach any smartphone with a GNSS chip in a specific target area with satellite coverage. This feature enables the service to reach people in rural regions with poor telephone signal and even be available during a disaster that affects the ground infrastructure.
EWS is not Galileo’s only emergency service. Galileo Search And Rescue Service (SAR) helps to save lives in emergency circumstances. Recently, a sailor in a solo round-the-world yacht race was saved after the waves pounded his vessel apart thanks to the positioning given to the rescuers by his emergency beacon.
Thanks to the return link feature of Galileo SAR, after sending his S.O.S., the skipper, Kevin Escoffier, was also able to have feedback about the correct reception of his alarm message, therefore knowing that help was on their way.