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COSPAS SARSAT

COSPAS SARSAT

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Feb 18, 2011
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02/18/2011

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COSPASISARSAT
NASA
 
Dramatic Rescues
.
.
What
Is
the System?Emergency Transmitt
................................
8-9
Space Segment
.....
..
..
.. ..
...
10-11
Ground Segment
... ...............................
12-13
Successes/Improvements
.................................
14
Expanding into the Future
.
For
Additional
I
.............................
16
Glossary
.....
Publication Date: August
1986
 
Sa
tel
I
esSave Lives
The antennas
of
theCOSPAS/SARSAT satellites areaimed toward the Earth todetect signals
of
distress. Thesignals are transmitted to spacefrom downed airplanes,capsized boats, and otheremergency situations. TheCOSPAS/SARSAT system aidsworldwide rescue centers inlocating the sources
of
thesignals to speed search andrescue efforts.COSPAS (a Russian abbreviation
of
Space System for Search
of
Vessels in Distress) and SARSAT(Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System)represent a model program
of
international cooperation. TheUnited States, Canada, France(SARSAT), and the Soviet Union(COSPAS) are the founders ofthe program. As of mid
1986,
other participating countries areBulgaria, Denmark, Finland,Norway, and the UnitedKingdom. Additional countries(e.g., Brazil) are involved innegotiations for theirparticipation.Since COSPAS/SARSAT programinception, the NationalAeronautics and SpaceAdministration
(NASA)
hasprovided ongoing research anddevelopment to create spaceand ground systems.
NASA
hascollaborated closely with the
U.S.
Air Force, the U.S. CoastGuard, and the National Oceanicand Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) from the early phasesthrough the ongoingenhancement activities. NOAAdirects the current operationalsystem within the United States.The
U.S.
Air Force, the
U.S.
Coast Guard, and theirrespective auxiliaryorganizations are performing theactual search and rescue tasks.The
U.S.
Air Force serves as thecentral communications pointfor the United States search andrescue activities and as a link
to
the international community.COSPAS/SARSAT is divided intotwo systems
to
detectemergency beacons. The firstsystem broadcasts
on
the
12
1.5/243
MHz frequencies andworks with Emergency LocatorTransmitters (ELTs) andEmergency Position IndicatingRadio Beacons (EPIRBs) at thosefrequencies. This system islimited
to
a circular area withina
3,220
km
(2,000
miles) radiusof a ground station.
A
newsystem
on
the
406
MHzfrequency provides monitoringfor the entire Earth.
In
the first
3
years of theprogram, COSPAS/SARSAT hasbeen instrumental in saving over
500
lives. In the future, theexpansion
of
COSPAS/SARSATwill provide increasinglyaccurate locations worldwide,improve distress detection, andprovide enhanced data handlingto help speed up life-savingactivities.
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