Search & Rescue Receives SpaceX Starlink Internet
Source: Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue (SBCSAR)
Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue recently became one of a few but growing number of Search and Rescue teams to have access to high-speed satellite-based internet via the SpaceX Starlink constellation. This is a game-changing technology for SAR, typically tasked with working in remote areas with very limited or no connectivity to perform vital search functions such as mapping or communication to other assets participating in a search effort. This technology allows SBCSAR to work and function effectively in areas never thought possible and also during natural disasters that could jam or disable normal communication networks.
Starlink or what our team members like to refer to as “SARlink” will allow high-speed internet connection quite literally anywhere in SB county. The system sets up in under 5 minutes and is highly deployable and compact, and provides speeds equal and often times faster than cable Inter. SARlink will be used to allow for real-time mapping, tracking of field teams, subjects or tracking of aircraft during search & rescue operations. It can also be used to stream video from locations in the field from our unmanned aerial systems (drones) or from field teams of trail conditions.
The uses are far-ranging and include but are not limited to lost or missing people searches, wildfire evacuations and evacuation planning, earthquakes, floods and debris flows, mutual aid callouts to other counties that need connectivity and this special resource. It can also be available to other responding agencies here in the county for extended duration calls or operations.
Starlink technology is new and does come at an expense to the team for ongoing operation. If you would like to assist in offsetting some of these monthly costs, please reach out to us or visit our team website for information on how to donate to the team and help us moving forward and staying on the cutting edge to provide the best service to the community.
Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue is a professional, all-volunteer, and unpaid 501(c)3 organization that is community supported by generous giving to provide services to the County of Santa Barbara under the direction of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. To learn about supporting SBCSAR, please visit our website or reach out to us.