GIt probably won’t be on your ship anytime soon but a British company formed by yachtie technophiles, Sci-Tech, has won this years UK Gallileo prize for a lifejacket that tells satellite navigation systems where it, and hence its wearer, is. Literally, it could be a ifesaver in man-overboard situations.
Gallileo, Europe’s answer to the US-controlled GPS system is the EU’s biggest space project. Each year prizes are given to companies and individuals coming up with ideas to use the Gallileo satellite navigation system. Winners get a 20,000 Euro, $40,000, cash prize and support under a business incubation system.
When immersed in water, a device in the Sci-Tech lifejacket connects with a Gallileo or GPS satellite and its co-ordinates transmitted to the vessel or rescue services, rather like the traditional EPIRB. Vessels searching for an MOB can simply feed the data into a commercial navigation system and track the wearer.
More information is available here from the BBC.