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Client Spotlight: An app that saves lives

   30.01.2019   application, data protection, Sponsor, client spotlight
Informatikstudenten Lukas Oberholzer und David Riederer proben den Drohneneinsatz bei der alpinen Rettung mit Tracking-System | © HSR Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil

Two years ago, the project "Tracking System" was launched with the aim of more quickly rescuing mountain hikers in distress and optimising the planning and execution of rescue operations with the support of modern technology. What has been achieved so far?

The digital agency Namics oversees the project, which is being continuously developed by students of the University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil (HSR) within the framework of student research projects and bachelor theses and from which various custom web applications have already been developed. As a long-term partner of Namics, aspectra volunteered to provide the server environment for the tracking system.

Our former vocational trainee (and current employee) Muri Al Kaysi was commissioned to implement the setup as part of his Individual Practical Work (IPA) in 2017. He also took on the role of project manager. He set up two web/app servers with Apache and Tomcat, installed two database servers with a MongoDB replicaset and configured the web application firewall for this solution. With the deployment of a prototype of the application, the IPA was successfully passed.

Since then, the application has been continuously further developed by HSR students. The emergency forces in the field are being tracked via the smartphone and receive the current search orders online. Recently, an application was introduced which supports the search in rough terrain or in bad weather conditions through the use of drones. The first pilot tests were carried out together with the Swiss Alpine Rescue (ARS) in 2018. The insights gained help to continuously develop the deployment planning tool using agile methods.

Tracking data generated during rescue operations is sensitive date. This is why they are managed and stored centrally in the high-security aspectra data centre. We are proud to be a sponsor of this project and we hope that it continues to be successfully implemented.