SAROPS Software Supports Coast Guard Rescue

Thursday, April 05, 2007
Within months after beginning fielding with the U.S. Coast Guard, Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) software developed by a Northrop Grumman Corporation team was instrumental in the search and rescue of an Orlando, Fla., resident who went overboard while on a cruise and was spotted by the Coast Guard eight hours later about 30 miles from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

SAROPS uses a sophisticated, cutting-edge animated grid model to project where floating persons or objects might be located. It allows searchers to define the situation, access environmental data such as wind and water current patterns, compute drift models, simulate environmental hazards, predict survival time, and develop a comprehensive search plan with available resources.

Northrop Grumman began developing SAROPS in 2003 under the U.S. Coast Guard Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) contract. The SAROPS portion of the contract is valued at approximately $2 million per year. Since December 2006, SAROPS has been fielded throughout the Coast Guard and is currently the service's primary search and rescue tool.

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