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> posted by   on February 23rd 2012
 

ISPO 2012: Avalanche airbag

Imagine hitting the slopes for the ultimate free ride downhill and unexpectedly being caught in an avalanche. Tons of snow encapsulate you, cutting of the air flow. You can start counting your last minutes.

Companies like The North Face and Mammut hope to change all that by integrating an Avalanche Airbag Safety System (ABS) into their backpacks.  If a skier or snowboarder finds themselves trapped under heavy snow, the system that you have to trigger yourself will inflate and give pinned athletes 150 liters more body volume, equalizing some of the extreme density and helping to bring the body towards the surface as the snow gains speed. The backpacks contain a canister with high-pressured gas that uses a Venturi vacuum pump for inflation.

 

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