From Global Mobile Satellite Communications: For Maritime, Land and Aeronautical Applications

7.1. Scope of the Cospas-Sarsat System

Vessels sink or become disabled, airplanes crash in disasters, land vehicles and expeditions get lost in the wilderness and other causal emergencies occur that jeopardize many lives and property at sea, in the vast inland regions and air space of the entire world. Continuous advances in technology and rapidly improved use of radio communications has been an historic objective of those charged with solving the Search and Rescue (SAR) problems at sea, on land and in the air. However, early in the history of mobile radio systems, only a hundred years ago radio equipment was installed on ships and aircraft to improve the safety of life and property at sea and in the air. While these improvements generally started well and assisted saving many lives and much property, they were not effective when there was a sudden, catastrophic loss of the supporting platform. For that reason, the most effective improvements occurred to this plan at the end of the preceding century.

Available high technology and requirements for improvement of safety mobile radio were combined in the early 1970s to enable a new system to be developed to counter the really alarming catastrophic loss problem. At that time, small beacons for ships and aircraft needs in the USA, Canada and in Europe were developed in large numbers. These radio beacons are generally small, inexpensive and very lightweight. At that time, the only monitoring platforms were overflying aircraft and in such a manner aeronautical distress frequencies...

Products & Services
Distress Radiobeacons

Distress radiobeacons, also known as emergency beacons, PLBs, ELTs, or EPIRBs, are devices that transmit the location of boats, aircraft, and people in an emergency. The signal is forwarded via a dedicated satellite to a control center that mobilizes a rescue response.

Buoys and Floats
Buoys and floats are designed to float on the surface of a body of water, or are supported below the water’s surface to mark a location. They are used in marine navigation, boat mooring, nautical communications, and weather observation applications.
Navigation Lights
Navigation lights are colored illumination devices used on aircraft, watercraft, and spacecraft. They are used to alert other crafts or vessels of the signaling craft's position, status, and/or heading.
Lifeboats and Life Rafts
Lifeboats and life rafts are small, rigid or inflatable boats for the emergency evacuation of a vessel. They provide refuge from open water conditions to increase the survivability of passengers and crew after abandoning an unseaworthy vessel.
Piers and Docks
Piers and docks are structural walk paths over water.

Topics of Interest

Overview Non-GEO GMSC systems are new space solutions for GMPSC such as Big LEO and Little LEO, including many other combinations of satellite orbits and systems as follows: MEO MSS: Odyssey...

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are set to launch the latest Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES), NOAA-N, on the morning of May 11 from...

Overview In the beginning of radio development, mobile communication systems were conceived for the transmission and receiving of telegraphy and telephony signals via antenna from ships, cars, trains...

Overview The safety of navigation through all past ages has been a primary preoccupation for all seamen and shipping owners. Distress and disasters at sea caused by the blind forces of Mother Nature...

Traffic Networks A traffic network consists of the floating nodes of vessels or aircraft that are operational in a particular water basin or airspace and thereby have a potential relationship with...