Jan 2023

MARS for off-piste mountain

Metirionic provides Ranging Technology that enables reliable wireless distance measurement even in harsh environments like in deep snow. MARS (Metirionic Advanced Ranging Stack) ensures the most reliable wireless measurement for Search And Rescue. 


During the snow season, the danger of avalanches increases and can put lives at risk. Together with the on-going trend towards out of bound (off-piste) skiing, mountain clubs put enormous efforts into educational programs on avalanche awareness and companion rescue operations. 


Nowadays, many of the deaths on account of snow avalanches are related to an excessive delay during the rescue.  Statistical analysis of avalanche accidents during the last 40 years has revealed that successful avalanche rescue must aim at rescuing victims within the first 15 min. 



Wireless technologies are commonly used to find the position of victims and help the sector.  


Although smartphones apps are commonly used, they have clear limitations like Range, Accuracy and Battery life. In an avalanche rescue situation, the range of these devices is limited as they work based on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth RSSI. Additionally, they are adversely affected by trees and the interference effect of rocks and snow.  GPS accuracy is insufficient for precise victim location in a short period of time, since it offers approximately 10 m of the victim, at best. Plus, these technologies suck power from the phone and it may take minutes to find a satellite signal if at all.  


The best way to locate an avalanche victim, when there is no sign, is by an avalanche beacon. These electronic devices, worn by the mountaineers, enable survivors and witnesses of an avalanche to start immediate search and rescue operations. This yields survival chances four times high.  

The victims carry an avalanche beacon or ARVA (from the French: Appareil de Recherche de Victimes d’Avalanche), that generates a magnetic signal which is detected by the rescuer’s ARVA. The location of the victim is usually directly inferred from the maximum signal position.  


However, soil and snow affect heavily the result of the magnetic signal interpretation, especially in cases of deep burying. So, the precision of this method is not sufficient to start immediately to dig out the victim. Therefore, additional time-consuming mechanical probing is necessary. 


It is well known that in order to increase the chances of survival after an avalanche accident, the rescue time must be minimized. Although avalanche transceivers are for now the only reliable standard method for locating a completely buried victim immediately after an accident, research on new digital processing techniques of interpreting the wireless signal can be performed with the objective of increasing the accuracy of the position of the victim and increase the range area of operation in the least possible time (Cold regions science and technology scientific journal).  


Metirionic holds a pool of patents that allow superior wireless measurements and target Search and Rescue applications in the Safety business.  

  • Rescue people faster 
  • Cover the maximum range   
  • Find several targets at the same time 


MARS (Metirionic Advanced Ranging Stack) ensures the most reliable wireless measurement in point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and radar applications and reduces the emergency response time to absolute minimum and lower than existing systems. 


For more information, book an appointment here with our wireless ranging expert team.


Go back to News