“Reverse Drift” Modeling Helps with Air France Flight 447 Recovery

sarops…from GovCon

“The Coast Guard assisted the French authorities by applying their new, advanced SAR software system called the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) that generates optimized search area predictions for objects missing at sea. Recovery of bodies and debris is significant not only for families, but for crash investigators, said Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“SAROPS includes a ‘reverse drift’ capability, which predicts a search area based on the location where floating wreckage is found. This enables search planners to develop optimal search patterns, maximizing the probability of successfully locating search objects. By tracking information on when and where debris is found, the SAROPS system works backward using the weather, wind and sea conditions over a specified period of time to estimate a probable location of the plane. Based on this position, search efforts can be focused to find the plane’s flight data recorders.”