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Swiss Air-Rescue Rega, to home page

Search helicopter

The search for missing, injured or ill persons is one of Rega’s core competences. Rega has various means at its disposal to perform search and rescue missions. For search flights, for example, a special helicopter equipped with a high-tech search system featuring a thermal imaging camera and numerous sensors is deployed. This enables Rega crews to search large areas from the air both during the day and at night. These systems are part of the equipment of the Rega search helicopter on standby around the clock at the base in Wilderswil:

  • A special device is installed in the Rega search helicopter that can detect a mobile phone and narrow down its location – even if there is no mobile phone reception in the search area. This system is deployed on missions carried out in collaboration with the police. Once a mobile device (e.g. mobile phone) has been located, the thermal imaging camera can be used to search the delimited area.
  • The key components of the IR/EOS multi-sensor search system are a highly sensitive thermal imaging camera and an optical camera. These make it possible to perform searches from the air efficiently and over large areas. A powerful searchlight, which is directly connected to the system, allows precise areas to be illuminated at night. Thanks to these components, Rega’s search specialists are able to detect persons in open terrain from a distance of several kilometres. At the Wilderswil base, a Rega helicopter equipped with this system is on standby around the clock.
  • High-tech console in the cabin: on board the search helicopter, the search specialist controls the various search systems via a console. He can operate them manually with a control stick. He analyses the camera images and the data delivered by the sensors directly on the monitors in the helicopter cabin.