ACR Electronics and Ocean Signal Highlight Enhanced Life-Saving Benefits of MEOSAR-Compatible Beacons
ACR Electronics, Inc. and Ocean Signal are highlighting how the life-saving capabilities of its distress beacons, including their Category 1 automatically-deployed, float-free EPIRBs, are significantly enhanced due to Cospas-Sarsat’s next-generation Medium-Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) system.
The update in technology means that the importance of including an EPIRB for the vessel and PLBs for crew within the on-board safety equipment will increase as the new Cospas-Sarsat system reaches full operational capacity in the next few years.
Revolutionising the search and rescue process, 24 EU launched Galileo navigation satellites will carry second generation SAR transponders for the Cospas-Sarsat system at Medium Earth Orbit altitude to supplement the existing LEOSAR (Low Earth Orbit) and GEOSAR (Geostationary Orbit) systems. The increased number of satellites offers much faster signal detection, greater location accuracy, strengthened coverage and greater reliability to improve alerting times for distress beacon owners in emergency situations.
For commercial vessels that require a float-free EPIRB that automatically deploys and activates when submerged in water, the ACR Electronics GlobalFIX V4 and GlobalFIX Pro, and Ocean Signal SafeSea 100G float-free EPIRBs feature Category 1 hydrostatic release brackets or housing options. ACR and Ocean Signal EPIRBs are reliable, innovative, compact and user-friendly with exceptional battery lives, and feature robust internal GPS to fix the exact location of the vessel in distress within 110 to 120 metres accuracy. The coordinates are then transmitted via a 406MHz distress signal to search and rescue authorities, with a 121.5MHz homing signal further guiding searchers to the position.
Chris Hoffman, Chairman of the RTCM (Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services) Board of Directors and chair of the RTCM Special Committee SC110 on Emergency Beacons, said: “As the representative of beacon manufacturers within the Cospas-Sarsat community, we work closely with companies like ACR and Ocean Signal to ensure that the needs of end users are taken into account when developing these new systems and enhancements.”
The first rescues demonstrating near real-time signal detection using a MEOSAR satellite have already been documented, with the new Cospas-Sarsat system expected to reach full operational capability in 2020-21.
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