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SARSAT (search and rescue satellite-aided tracking)

SARSAT (search and rescue satellite-aided tracking)click for a larger image
A system of satellites operated by Canada, France, and the United States for search and rescue purposes. The system, along with the equivalent system COSPAS of the former Soviet Union, monitors distress signals from ships and aircraft. The ship or aircraft in distress must transmit the distress signal on one of the two fixed frequencies. The system uses NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) satellites in low-earth and geostationary orbits to detect and locate aviators, mariners, and land-based users in distress. The satellites relay distress signals from emergency beacons to ground stations and ultimately to the U.S. mission control center in Southland, Maryland. The USMCC (United States Mission Control Center) processes the data and alerts the appropriate search and rescue (S and R) authorities. SARSAT is a part of COSPAS-SARSAT.
References in periodicals archive ?
In a real sense, SARSAT can mean the difference between life and death.
These polar-orbiters (NOAA operates five), part of the SARSAT system, fly around the earth (540 miles above) every 102 minutes and carry instruments capable of detecting the location of distress signals from 406 beacons.
The MT400 was soon to be followed by additions to the beacon product line including water activated, auto release, personal and GPS equipped models, ensuring GME's position as a major supplier of COSPAS SARSAT beacons.
General Dynamics also mentioned that 406 Sarsat global energy beacon and two-way satcom software upgrades are available.
TSi's first generation MEOLUT deployed at NASA has proven the feasibility of several key features that make the MEOSAR system clearly superior to the current LEO/GEO SARSAT system.
Once activated, the MAX and MAX G transmit a unique identification signal along with the user's current position via the COSPAS SARSAT international search and rescue satellite system on 406 MHz.
The radio is somewhat unique among its contemporaries in offering a small (25 to 30 MHz) HF and higher than normal VHF range enabling it to detect the Cospas Sarsat 121.
The unit's software is upgradeable, with 406 Sarsat, GPRS, Special Dama, Saasm GPS and other formats already on the drawing boards.
We are honored to provide our SARSAT services and expertise to GSFC", said Chris LaVigna, President, Techno-Sciences, Inc.