New SAR birds in the next decade

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lucaberta
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Location: Milan, Italy
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New SAR birds in the next decade

Postby lucaberta » Wed May 26, 2010 6:30 am

I've just read an interesting article on a NextGen version of the current SAR system, here is the link:

http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20100 ... ne=NGtoday

Basically they will use a payload of newer GPS satellites in order to have more birds at any given time orbit above the place where a digital beacon is sending its signal. The new technology is called Distress Alerting Satellite System or DASS in short. More info here:

https://www.spacecomm.nasa.gov/spacecom ... rescue.cfm
http://searchandrescue.gsfc.nasa.gov/dass/index.html

Basically it's an augmented 406 MHz system, with more coverage as more satellites are in view, and more reliable as 406 MHz signals are digital and can also carry precise location information in them, provided that your ELB/PLB has a GPS receiver included.

Good stuff! Happy to see that both the US and Europe are working on this at the same time. The switch to 406 MHz makes even more sense now.

Ciao, Luca
Luca Bertagnolio, CPL/ASEL/AMEL/ASES/IR

US States I've overflown or flown in:
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PilotBillFromTexas
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Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:10 am
Location: KGPM Grand Prairie, Texas

Re: New SAR birds in the next decade

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Thu May 27, 2010 10:24 pm

I went on a Search and Rescue exercise mission last Sunday. I'm happy to report that we are still looking for 121.5 signals. (121.775 for training purposes.)

The 406 MHz systems hold a lot of promise but, in the US my impression is that most people are still flying with the 121.5 systems with no satellite support. The 406 systems do crank out more power in bursts sometimes with GPS data and a code identifying the aircraft and also 121.5 for local ground and air teams and the satellites are listening.

I flew with a SPOT personal location devise that you are supposed to be able to track on a web page fed from pings from the devices which are bounced off of satellites. Let's just say that it is better than not having it in a real emergency but, I would not want to risk my life on it.


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