Designing the concept of Mid Air Rope Access
By Ivan Kristoff
“Thank you for joining this forum.
Fourteen years ago I was chosen to be the first person to work on the top of the world’s tallest tower. My temporary office at the elevation of +/- 450 meters was considered to be the World’s Most Dangerous Job Site, where I was hanging on ropes at the wind speed of over 60 km/h, in the freezing winter, surrounded by Hi RF microwave transceivers that would boil my brain and blood in seconds, if I made a small mistake. I had to go where no one dared to go and finish the task safely. Should I fail in any small aspect of this challenge the reputation of the Canada’s Most Iconic Landmark would be compromised and perhaps my life.
With total success, I crossed the boundaries of rope access above 500 meters above the ground. My avant garde methods fundamentally changed the concept of working on ropes at extreme heights Innovation and breaking the boundaries was my advantage. Should I have to comply to the By-Laws or use the safety standards, I should fail on that mission.
Next year when I returned back to the very top, at 555 meters off the ground and I looked up I realized that that will be the new challenge in vertical and aerial rope access. When I looked down and saw how small look the high skyscrapers and how tiny are the different points that a helicopter pilot usually would use to precisely position himself for steady hovering I realized what I challenge that would be for an air rescue crew. My plan for extracting my crew by air if anything went wrong during my job had to be revised. This kind of thinking showed me the new direction of my endeavors.
And I believe that these kind of “revisions” can bring to life a new kind of market. This is when the revolutionary concept M.A.R.S. – Mid Air Rope Access was born. An such concept and development of its various stages can fundamentally change the rope access and rescue operations. It will increase the boundaries of vertical and aerial rope rescue and tactical operations. That kind of pioneering spirit lives on the years that the concept was discussed with engineers, military and civilian pilots. It can be applied in vertical lift platforms, help save lives and defend freedom. And we continue the development of the concept right now. But we can challenge ourselves and push much harder.
The challenges of building higher and higher high rise structures are constantly evolving. So does and the procedures for reaching the unreachable and hard to reach places on the exterior of super and mega high rise buildings. To handle a possible Mid Air Rope access no supper tall high rises via helicopter, the emergency teams must be have grater flexibility to expend mission sets.
We must be proactive in anticipating the constantly evolving challenges that come with this sector. We must bring different perspective and ask ourselves what problems we are trying to solve. We must be thinking about revolutionary platforms and capabilities, and we must bring this solutions to the market much quicker. That is why I created The Innovation Team – to explore ideas ahead of its time and advance the state of the art. To focus on emerging technologies and find the next era of vertical and aerial rescue. And to demonstrate our discoveries of the world.
Am I going to show you the most innovative things that I am working on? No, but I do want to show you a glimpse of my vision for the future of rescue.
Ladies and Gentlemen – THE MID AIR RESCUE SYSTEM – this will be the pеак of Innovation in Aviation Series, This is not tested yet, but this is a road map for the future. What you will see soon in our presentation is creativity and design. We distance ourselves from the current studies. Pushing the envelope of flying military and civilian aircraft is our goal. It will redefine the history of air rescue. We accomplish this by introducing a group of artists and pilots to my project.
I challenged the artists and pilots to think beyond what I can rappel or traverse with the typical rope access techniques for transferring from one structure to another. I also had to educate the artist and pilots about the mechanics of my movements and what could resolve in the anticipated positions of Vertical Velocity that I might be exposed. As with the experience of the Bell Innovation Team who work on the FCX concept, we expect to cultivate a dynamic relationship, as each group serve as a creative catalyst for the other. And over time I expect to merge into a highly collaborative team of problem solvers.
MARS embodies what we envision to bring to the world – advanced rope rescue. Safety that rivals and exceeds commercial air travel. With the rescuer of the future. controlling his descent on the rope with the with augmented reality and artificial intelligence that brings vital data in front of his eyes, to catch up on news, holding a video conference calls or simply watching on his visor’s screen a different point of view.
A focus on innovative solutions and technologies. Being a pioneer in your industry is in my DNA and I want to share this passion with the world. I invite all of you to contact Fortis and share knowledge and ideas about the future of air rescue.