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 (NOC)
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.
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.