SARTrack Search and Rescue
The SARTrack program was originally designed in 2007 for a Search and
Rescue group in New Zealand, based on the Amateur Radio APRS protocol
for Tracking and communications.
the beginning of 2012 I decided to develop an international version,
for the Amateur Radio (HAM) community, and SAR groups in other parts of
This version, now available as Beta is used by several thousand HAM's and SAR people around the globe.
It can be used in HAM mode or SAR mode. In SAR mode, all special Search and Rescue related functions become available.
the program is being used by SAR groups around the world, I have
started a new level of development, to make SARTrack a full software
package including all IT requirements for SAR (and related)
SARTrack will include full Operational Management functions.
This document will outline only the SAR specific features currently available in SARTrack, and what is in the planning for the next 6 months.
is developed to be used in the field, without any Internet access
available. Maps and other data are stored locally on the laptop, and
can be used off-line. It is assumed that multiple laptops are normally
in use at a remote location, connected together by a local LAN/WIFI
the intended situation, one laptop will be set up as the "server". This
Laptop should always be available immediately when an operation starts.
All other SARTrack laptops will connect to this server, which on the local LAN is automatic and does not require any TCP/IP setup.
if any of the SARTrack laptops has Internet access, all data (from all
laptops) will also be available to the outside world, using any
Internet APRS Server. This could be one of the APRS-IS worlwide
servers, the FireNet network, or (preferably) a private SAR APRS Server.
has established two such servers, one for New Zealand only, and one
located in the Netherlands for general SAR use, directly linked to a
large Internet fiber network. (You can connect to this APRS server at
SARTrack is an "Un-docked" application, which
means all Windows (Maps, Operations Log, TimeLine, etc.) can be displayed if
required on seperate monitors, specifically, a video projector. Also,
as all SARTrack computers are linked together, you can have a Map on
one laptop, the Operations Log on another, and the TimeLine on yet another.
They will all stay in sync (if the Network is not interrupted).
SAR Group ID and Encryption.
As Search and Rescue information is often confidential, SARTrack is using a SAR Group ID, linked to a private Encryption Key.
means that once a SAR group has selected an private ID (between 100 and
25600), all Messages and Operations Log information will be transmitted
encrypted, and other groups will not see this data. This will also
prevent any mixups with this type of data between groups using the same
To block all other traffic (standard APRS Trackers,
etc) a list of allowed Callsigns can be set up. All other traffic will
Tracking and Objects.
from the normal APRS Tracking features, using a TNC (Radio Modem)
connected to a serial/USB port, SARTrack can now also decode commercial
VHF radios with a build-in GPS tracker. At this point, the Kenwood
FleetSync radios are supported.
SARTrack will convert the incoming
data from a connected Kenwood FleetSync radio into APRS Objects, which
will then be displayed on all connected SARTrack PC's Maps (local or
remote) complete with Tactical callsign and mulitcolor Tracks.
All manually added Objects also have a Tactical callsign and a separate track color.
On a map, Search Areas can be drawn (with Tactical name and color), which will then show on all connected PC's.
Update of data.
SARTrack is based on the APRS system, and every connected PC has its
own copy of the Stations and Objects database, a PC which is
connected much later in the operation will not have the complete data.
This includes the Tactical callsigns and track colors allocated earlier
to Trackers, Stations and Objects, and any Search Areas.
"Update Request" button is available which will transmit a request to
one of the other SARTrack PC's (normally the "Server"), and this will
then send Updates back to the newly connected PC over the APRS network.
The SAR Operations Log.
Possibly the most powerfull feature of SARTrack is the Operations Log.
the Operations Log enables you to enter all operational actions on the Log. A
special Radio Operator screen is available to quickly transfer radio
communications from Teams in the field to and from the Operations
team. All LOG entries can be marked as Actioned when processed.
All Messaging and many other events are logged automatically
in the background. So, a full and complete SAROP Log is produced, which
is available for later evaluation and possible Police and coroner
The Standard Operations Log window (sequential)
The TimeLine ("whiteboard") window.
The Status window.
Statistical Rings and Dispersion Angles
Based on the International Search & Rescue Incident Database (ISRID) and the book Lost Person Behavior by Robert Koester, SARTrack can now display a Statistical Ring system, including (optional) Dispersion lines.
optional is a 'Travel Circle' which shows an expanding circle based on
estimated speed since Last Seen (not shown on example).
For a full explanation with screenshots, click here.
can replay the entire operation afterwards. The replay will play
back all Tracks, adding of Objects, Areas, all Messaging and even the Operations Log.
NEW: Operational Management.
development of the new Operational Management functions is now in
progress, and is partly complete. However, many additional features are
still being added.
The new features are developed
in direct consultation with SAR groups, currently New Zealand LandSAR
and several groups in Canada.
Any other people want to supply
feedback, which would be greatly appreciated, please subscribe to the
special Mailing list set up for this purpose.
Just email email@example.com.
4 January 2015,
CEO, SARTrack developer