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Wearable fabric antenna is rescue aid

Sept. 29, 2011 at 6:32 PM   |   Comments

PARIS, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A Finnish company says it has developed a wearable search-and-rescue antenna that can be sewn into clothing.

Patria Aviation Oy developed the antennae with input from the European Space Agency. The special antenna produced by Patria has been designed for use by the Cospas-Sarsat worldwide search-and-rescue satellite system, an ESA release said Wednesday.

Cospas-Sarsat, sponsored by Canada, France, Russia and the United States, and started during the Cold War, has been operating for almost 30 years and has helped to rescue more than 26,000 people in distress.

It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is intended reduce the time required to alert rescue authorities in emergencies

When a carrier is in distress, an emergency beacon is activated and the signal is picked up by satellites orbiting Earth that report the person's position to rescue authorities.

Patria's fabric antenna, meant to works as part of a Cospas-Sarsat distress transmitter, is made from highly flexible, lightweight material that is robust against water exposure and moist conditions and resistant to wear and tear, the company said.

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