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Devices for finding people under rubble

Illustration: #IliaUhnivenko


At the beginning of March 2022, the Russian army fired missiles at the Vinnytsia airport, so people were trapped under the rubble—rescuers found the bodies of ten dead. As a result, Vladyslav, a student at the local technical university, decided to create a sound tracker that would alert rescuers to survivors in similar situations.

Together with his classmates, Vladyslav assembled a simple device from only four elements: a speaker, a holder, a battery and a switch. Each element is easy to replace.  Students can assemble the tracker in just five minutes, and the cost of one product is 50 hryvnas (less than 2 dollars).

If a person is under rubble, they must press a button, and the device will emit high-frequency ultrasound for 12 hours. Both rescuers and search dogs will hear this signal. The tracker is handy when the victim cannot scream or periodically loses consciousness. 

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine agreed that the product could save lives but offered the students several ideas for improvement. First, the signal should be pretty different from the sounds of household appliances. Secondly, the tracker must be placed so that it is not far from a person during a missile strike because this could cause the rescuers to search in a completely different place. 

Vladyslav and his friends make such devices on a volunteer basis and send them to residents of hotspots free of charge. Students also work on other developments; for example, they have created antennas for the military that increase the power of radios. There are also new inventions that are currently intriguing to radio engineers.


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