GPS-based communication system helps helicopters in oil spill rescue effort

Aviation plays a big role in the cleanup of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as fixed wings and rotors carry workers and supplies throughout the region.

EMS Aviation promoted through a statement released last week its FLEET tracking system, now being used by a private contractor for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Florida-based Heli-works Inc. uses the system between biologists in Bell 206Ls outfitted with the equipment and rescuers on the ground to locate and recover oiled birds.

The system is backed by a web-based Automated Flight Following (AFF) map that shows a helicopter’s location, speed, heading, altitude and flight history.

The FLEET system also offers text and phone capabilities to crew, in addition to automated tracking. The FLEET system is composed of an iridium antenna and transceiver with integrated GPS.

Read more about the technology here.