Artemis: A Q&A with Smith Myers

AerialFire spent some time with Peter Myers from Smith Myers, manufacturers of the Artemis system. A system designed to locate firefighters or members of the public and provide a communication link when all others fail. Read our Q&A and learn about the system that is saving lives.

AF: So the Artemis system has been operation globally for several years now. It has been cited as a
game changer by many users including the Royal Norwegian Airforce, who are Norway’s Search and
Rescue operator. Why do you think it has an application with the aerial firefighting industry?

SM: I’m convinced the features of Detect, Locate and Communicate are all very relevant in a
firefighting scenario. Particularly given that this is a situation where other sensors, such as EO/IR &
VIDAR would struggle to provide meaningful information. We can detect if there is anyone in an
area of concern, either unknown persons, or ground based firefighters. We can locate them and
display their location on a map, additionally we can broadcast a text message to everyone in the
area or send a text/make a call to a specific phone.

AF: Can’t this be done on the regular cell phone service?

SM: Not if there is no local service, Artemis acts like your own cell tower, so out of service phones will
find you. You can be looking for specific phones or any phones in the area, depending on your
mission. Even if there is local network coverage you don’t get a location.

AF: What you are saying is that you can provide situational awareness. Displaying the positions of
ground teams along with people you might be searching for, or who were unknown up to the point
of detection.

SM: That is correct, Artemis could be used to broadcast a text message to phones in the area,
warning of a change of wind direction, or a retardant drop, or asking if people need assistance,
medical or otherwise. Simultaneously it can display hundreds of located phones. It could even be
used as a back up for comms with ground assets.

AF: This sounds like quite a sophisticated system, is it easily fitted as an upgrade, or does it have to
be factory fitted?

SM: The hardware itself is available in several different configurations. The T-U is around the size of a
hard back book and weighs around 3lb (1.4kg) The T-A which in addition to Cellular functions also
has an AIS receiver along with PLB receive capability, weighs just over 9lb (4.2kg) Either system only
requires two antennas, mounted on the belly of the aircraft.

AF: What about a display for the system?
SM: Artemis is controlled from a web browser; this could be from an existing screen or an electronic
knee pad. It would even be possible to operate the system from the ground if there was a
reasonable Air to Ground IP connection.

AF: Will the system offer integration with other mission systems?

SM: Artemis is already integrated with systems from Carte Nav, Shotover, Euronav, Fly Sight, Rapid
Imaging etc. We also have interfaces to ATAK.

AF: So who are Smith Myers, and where did the company originate to where it is today?.

SM: Smith Myers have been designers of Cellular equipment for 36 years, starting off with test and
measurement equipment for Cellular networks, then very specific designs for national and
international agencies.

AF: So how come you only need two antennas, and a very compact device?

SM: Artemis has been designed in house by us specifically for this application, we didn’t have to
compromise by using hardware designed for a shopping mall or some other application. Our receiver
design has proprietary techniques to derive distance estimations very accurately without using
received signal strength which is a less precise method. Our superior design complies with DO 160 G
and Mil Std 810 G ensuring we don’t generate any spurious noise and we aren’t affected by exterior
noise from other avionics. These standards include testing for ruggedness: vibration, shock,
temperature, dust, water etc. All this adds up to a superior location system that can withstand the
extreme environments that SAR operators must endure.

Peter Myers can be contacted at To learn more about the Artemis sytem, visit

AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Staff
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