Any vessel or airplane accidents occurring at sea present emergency teams with a mammoth and time-limited challenge to locate survivors. But thanks to a new algorithm developed by an international research team – spearheaded by ETH Zurich and MIT – it will be possible for rescuers to gauge where people and objects are likely drift to following a disaster.
“Our work has a clear potential to save lives,” said Mattia Serra, former Ph.D. student at ETH Zurich and now a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard.
Combining ocean data with ‘tools from dynamical systems theory’ – the team, led by George Haller, Professor of Nonlinear Dynamics at ETH Zurich, created a mathematical model that proved in testing that it could generate the lifesaving information.
“Our hope is that this method will become a standard part of the toolkit of coast guards everywhere,” added Haller.
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