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AFRL hosts exercise to test search and rescue technology in extreme climates

  • Published
  • By Rachel Simones
  • Air Force Research Laboratory

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – A team of Air Force Research Laboratory researchers recently hosted a Polar Operations exercise to test Search and Rescue (SAR) technology in extreme climates.

“The goal of this exercise was to collaborate with international partners to evaluate new concepts applied to the multi-nation problem of SAR operations in the Polar Regions,” said Dan Thomson, a portfolio lead with AFRL's Aerospace Systems Directorate.

This event was held in-person and virtually with participants from Australia, Canada, Alaska, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command. The exercise captured assessments of the effects of various technology concepts on SAR outcomes.

“The short list of technology concepts covered a broad span, from platforms and power sources to wearable health monitoring systems and survival kits,” said Dr. Don Erbschloe, an exercise consultant with ARCTOS Technology Solutions. “The breakout sessions focused on how these novel ideas can be adapted to the important mission of SAR.”

This collaborative effort highlights the importance of AFRL researchers partnering with allies to test and improve technology for the operational warfighter.

“This was a very informative activity, and I learned a lot from our international partners throughout the planning and execution,” said Thomson. “I am looking forward to the next steps, which will utilize a digital modeling and simulation exercise to conduct SAR operations in a combat scenario.”

Researchers with AFRL are committed to testing technology in a variety of environments to ensure the warfighter’s mission success in extreme conditions.