New Textile-based Antennas for Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations and Emergency Communications

In emergency SAR scenarios wearable antennas and electronic sensors, made from textiles, can be extremely advantageous as they provide rescuers, and victims, the flexibility of movement while also minimizing the need for human initialization and interaction. Such a new concept, wearable devices for SAR applications, is an excellent example of an ‘Internet of Things’ Technology. This is because these wearable electronics are integrated within a network of devices, or "things", for wireless connectivity enabling data and location exchange without the need for any human intervention. Such wearable sensors can be made low profile and with low cost, and are in stark contrast to the conventional which typically require some type of manual initialization. For example, deployable antennas and bulky electronics are currently used in mobile location tracking devices, such as personal locator beacons (PLBs) for the Cospas-Sarsat satellite communications framework.

In these conventional PLBs, rigid antennas with controlling electronics are currently used since they are robust and they are able to withstand different environmental situations. On the other hand, victims and rescuers in emergency situations face unpredictable scenarios which can limit their movement; possibly due to injuries, or, being trapped/confined within a small space. Moreover, being bulky and rigid, these conventional devices can further restrict movement and also require some type of manual human interaction for data connectivity which might not be feasible. These pre-setup requirements can thus reduce the effectiveness of these existing rigid or extendable antennas, and possibly, lead to the unnecessary loss of life.

Therefore the basic outline of this project is to develop new, low-profile and compact antenna prototype models using textiles and other materials to replace or provide alternatives to existing PLB technologies. Experimental verification is also planned for the most promising antenna design. Specific applications include the Cospas-Sarsat System

Supervisor name: 
Symon K. Podilchak
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses:

MSc programme:

Project Type:

Project location: 
EM 2.02
Deputy name: 
George Goussetis