R & D
RMRG tests rescue systems and components as part of its ongoing equipment development and safety assurance work. The organization has a long history and close ties with the University of Colorado and many of its engineers who have become RMRG members.
RMRG owns and operates a 35-foot test tower. This allows for static and dynamic testing with drop mass up to 1,000 lbs. We have developed protocols for drop load and abrasion testing. The test tower is equipped with a high-speed data acquisition system, including two load cell strain gauges. RMRG results include:
We performed an extensive investigation of a June 22, 2010 climbing accident fatality on Yellow Spur route in Eldorado Canyon caused by a climbing rope failure; Yellow Spur Rope Failure Investigation.
Three RMRG members published a portion of our findings: "On the Utility of Rescue Randy Mannequins in Rescue Systems Drop Testing" at the 2009 International Technical Rescue Symposium (ITRS).
RMRG acknowledges Honeywell/Sensotec and National Instruments for their generous support of its research activities. National Instruments' web site features a case study of RMRG's application of their products.
In support of RMRG's relationship with National Instruments, we developed a historical summary (through 2007) of our rope and radio direction finding testing efforts; RMRG Equipment Testing Program and Test Tower Facility.
Questions about the RMRG test tower program can be addressed to our test tower chair at: Contact@RockyMountainRescue.org.
RMRG typically tests all our equipment to ensure our 4:1 safety factor for individual components. Rescue operations and our testing involve both static and dynamic loads. Testing also helps ensure that the equipment we use has an adequate durability.
We use as much commercial rescue equipment as possible. In some cases, there is not a commercial product available that meets our rescue requirements. In these cases we will develop our own equipment.
If you have a question about our equipment development work, please contact our equipment chair at Contact@RockyMountainRescue.org. The following pieces of equipment have been developed by RMRG:
Backpackable stainless steel litter with metal wall plates.
Modified fire helmet with retractable shield and litter helmet rail attachment system.
Litter Belay device that can be configured for single rope scree or double rope vertical rescue lowering.
Portable gas powered hydraulic winch for raising or lowering 3/16" aircraft cable to 1000 lbs. RMRG retired the winch system in 1999.
Downed Aircraft Locator Antenna
Portable antenna for locating downed aircraft ELT signals