Satellite based emergency call system for lumberjacks



The objective of the project SANOWA is the development of a demonstrator that will significantly increase the safety of lumberjacks and facilitate rescue operations in case of an accident. Satellite navigation, autonomous sensors, wireless communication and geoinformation systems are integrated in the demonstrator. 

Brief Description

A personal safety module carried by the lumberjacks which releases automatically or manually an alarm. The alarm will be forwarded by radio link to a life-rucksack deposited in the immediate work area. The position of the rucksack is determined by integrating satellite navigation (GPS, EGNOS or Galileo) and optional autonomous sensors. The alarm message in combination with the position and further attributes is sent via a terrestrial GSM/GPRS network or a satellite communication (Iridium) link to the service centre.

There the controller receives the alarm message with the position of the person in distress together with automatic pop up of additional information. Using all this information and by the support of the GIS the controller in the service centre gets a better idea of the situation and can initiate most appropriate actions, again supported by the system. Alternative, the men in the field might be alarmed through the system, if their life is at stake (i.e. thunderstorm warnings, forest fires). The service centre sends an alarm message to the life-rucksack in the area concerned, which then dispatches the information to the personal security modules of the lumberjacks if it is necessary. The system is modularly structured and designed to work for a lone worker as well as for a team of lumberjacks either in the manual wood work, in forest management or in cultural operations. 


Project Partners

  • Intergraph Ges.m.b.H, Vienna (lead)
  • TeleConsult Austria GmbH, Graz
  • Österreichische Bundesforste AG, Purkersdorf
  • HighTech Marketing, Vienna


  • Austrian Government (BMVIT)


  • Successfully completed in 2009