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Multi-Hop Shortest Path Computation for Rotary Wing Search and Rescue

Richard McCourt, Slawomir Wesolkowski, Irene Collin and Andrew Billyard

The 2010 Summer Computer Simulation Conference (SCSC 10)
Ottawa, Canada, July 11-14, 2010


The Canadian Forces carries out search and rescue operations in Canada at the request of the Canadian Government. An important component of such planning is asset positioning. In order to understand how to best position assets such as helicopters, an appropriate distance measure between assets and incidents needs to be used. In this paper, we propose a heuristic algorithm to compute the shortest distance measure between an asset and an incident including refuelling stops. We call the distance between two points (origin, destination and refuelling stations) a helicopter hop. We compare results obtained using our algorithm to Dijkstra's celebrated search and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using our method based on real world data.

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