UAV uses microphone array to locate lost hikers!


Guys from EPFL have been working on a UAV that has an array of microphones that can locate lost hikers/skiiers. By picking up the high frequency sound, the UAV is able to triangulate the position of the sound source to help locate the lost person autonomously while in flight! Another great application for UAV’s for emergancy services!

In search and rescue missions, Micro Air Vehicles (MAV’s) can assist rescuers to faster locate victims inside a large search area and to coordinate their efforts. Acoustic signals play an important role in outdoor rescue operations. Emergency whistles, as found on most aircraft life vests, are commonly carried by people engaging in outdoor activities, and are also used by rescue teams, as they allow to signal reliably over long distances and far beyond visibility. For a MAV involved in such missions, the ability to locate the source of a distress sound signal, such as an emergency whistle blown by a person in need of help, is therefore significantly important and would allow the localization of victims and rescuers during night time, through foliage and in adverse conditions such as dust, fog and smoke. In this work we present a sound source localization system for a MAV to locate narrow-band sound sources on the ground, such as the sound of a whistle or personal alarm