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AIRBUS

A319/A320/A321
EMERGENCY
LOCATOR
TRANSMITTER
(ELT)
AIRBUS
INTIAL ISSUE - MAY
2008
A319/A320/A321
REVISION 1 - MAY 2008
EMERGENCY
INTIAL ISSUE - MAY
LOCATOR
2008
REVISION 1 - MAY 2008

This document, compiled by Royal Brunei Technical Training, is used


with instructor guidance as the course material for the stipulated
training purpose.
Once issued, its contents will not be updated and under no
circumstances shall it be used as a reference for aircraft maintenance
or operational activities.
This document or part of it shall not be copied or reproduced in any
form without permission from Royal Brunei Airlines Sdn Bhd.
2008 - Royal Brunei Airlines
This document, compiled by Royal Brunei Technical Training, is used
with instructor guidance as the course material for the stipulated
training purpose.
Once issued, its contents will not be updated and under no
circumstances shall it be used as a reference for aircraft maintenance
or operational activities.
This document or part of it shall not be copied or reproduced in any
form without permission from Royal Brunei Airlines Sdn Bhd.
2008 - Royal Brunei Airlines
This document, compiled by Royal Brunei Technical Training, is used

AIRBUS A319/A320/A321 EMERGENCY LOCATOR


TRANSMITTER (ELT)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TOPIC

PAGE

1. ELT FUNDAMENTALS ........................................................................................................ 1


PURPOSE .......................................................................................................................... 2
TRANSMISSION FREQUENCIES ......................................................................................... 2
OPERATION ..................................................................................................................... 2
COSPAS-SARSAT .............................................................................................................. 3
406MHZ TRANSMISSION PRECAUTIONS ........................................................................... 4
TESTING........................................................................................................................... 4
PROGRAMMING DONGLE ................................................................................................ 5
MAINTENANCE DONGLE ................................................................................................. 5
2. A320 FAMILY FIXED ELT ................................................................................................. 6
COMPONENTS ................................................................................................................. 7
ELT................................................................................................................................... 8
ELECTRICAL INTERFACE ................................................................................................. 9
ADPTER CABLE (141MX) ................................................................................................. 10
ANTENNA (112MX).......................................................................................................... 10
MAINTENANCE DONGLE ................................................................................................ 11
REMOTE CONTROL PANEL (11MX) ................................................................................. 11
OPERATION .................................................................................................................... 12
CONTROLS AND INDICATIONS ON ELT .......................................................................... 13
CONTROLS AND INDICATIONS ON RCP ......................................................................... 14
3. A320 FAMILY PORTABLE ELT ......................................................................................... 15
REVIEW QUESTIONS ....................................................................................................... 16
REFERENCES .................................................................................................................. 16

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1. ELT FUNDAMENTALS

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

PURPOSE

TRANSMISSION FREQUENCIES

The Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) is activated to emit


distress signals on emergency frequencies. This signal is used by
search-and-rescue teams to reach the distressed.

The ELT system transmits on 3 frequencies:

121.5 MHz (Civil)

243 MHz (Military)

406 MHz (COSPAS-SARSAT)

OPERATION
AN ELT is activated manually or automatically. Auto-activation is
usually with a water-activated switch or a g-switch. A g-switch is
activated by the high impact forces created in an aircraft crash.
The ELT is powered by batteries for independent operation.
The 121.5/243 MHz transmitter transmits a "sweep" distress signal
for more than 48 hours. The distress signal transmits continuously
with an output power of 100 mW on each frequency.
The 406 MHz transmitter transmits a digital signal for 24 hours. The
digital signal is a message of 122 bits (aircraft identification)
transmitted every 50 seconds for 440 msec. The first transmission
starts after 50 seconds.
COSPAS-SARSAT, a satellite based search and rescue system has
made it possible to give a unique identity to a user and to locate
the person geographically in the event of a transmission.

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

COSPAS-SARSAT
Launched in the early eighties by the four founder countries
(Canada, France, Russia, and the USA), the COSPAS-SARSAT
system provides satellite aid to search and rescue (SAR) operations
for maritime, aeronautical and terrestrial vehicles anywhere in the
world.
COSPAS-SARSAT uses a constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and
Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellites which relay the 121.5 / 243
MHz signals and process the 406 MHz signal to ground stations
(LUT) where the beacon positions are determined with a precision
of 10 NM with 121.5 / 243 signals and less than 2 NM with 406
signals.
The satellite system transmits the 406 MHz distress signal to a Local
User Terminal (LUT), when the LUT is in range. The LUT receiving
range is a radius of approximately 2.500 km (1367.00 NM). When
the LUT is not in receiving range, the satellite system stores the
distress signal until transmission is possible. The LUT automatically
processes the distress signal to identify and show the position of
the aircraft to a radius of approximately 1.8 km (5900.00 ft.). The
processed data is transmitted to a Mission Control Centre (MCC).
The MCC sends the data to an applicable Rescue Coordination
Centre (RCC), where Search and Rescue (SAR) operations are
started. The 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz signals are used to find the
aircraft in the final stage of SAR operation.

During the first 24 hours of operation, a signal is transmitted on 406


MHz every 50 seconds to the COSPAS-SARSAT satellites. The
output power on 406 MHz is near 5W i.e. 50 times more powerful
than the VHF signal. Phase modulation at 400 bps enables
transmission of all the relevant identification information to the
COSPAS-SARSAT satellites in less than half a second.

Once activated, the transmitter operates continuously on 121.5 and


243 MHz. The output power is 100 mW on each frequency.
The modulation is an audio frequency sweeping downwards from
1420 Hz to 490 Hz with a repetition rate of 4 Hz. The AM modulation
factor is over 85%.

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

406MHZ TRANSMISSION PRECAUTIONS


Activating a 406 MHz beacon will generate a COSPAS-SARSAT
distress alert message that will be relayed to Search and Rescue
Services for their immediate action. Therefore, 406 MHz beacons
should not be activated except in real distress situations or unless
special prior arrangements have been made with the COSPASSARSAT Mission Control Centre (MCC) that services your region.
Activating a beacon for reasons other than to indicate a distress
situation or without the prior authorization from a COSPAS-SARSAT
MCC is considered an offence in many countries of the world, and
could result in prosecution.
406 MHz beacons are designed with a self-test capability for
evaluating key performance characteristics.

COSPAS-SARSAT Mission Control Centre that services the location


in which the test is planned.
There are currently 430,000 COSPAS-SARSAT 406 MHz distress
beacons in operation. In view of the number of beacons in service,
coupled with the effort and resources required to coordinate a live
beacon test, beacon owners should be aware that authorization to
activate a beacon for testing will only be granted in exceptional
circumstances.

TESTING
Any test transmission of an ELT must be conducted only during the
first 5 minutes of any UTC hour and restricted in duration to not
more than 5 seconds.

Initiating the beacon self-test function will not generate a distress


alert in the COSPAS-SARSAT System.
However, it will use some of the beacon's limited battery power,
and should only be used in accordance with the beacon
manufacturer's guidance.
If you inadvertently activate the beacon in its operational mode,
contact the nearest COSPAS-SARSAT MCC as soon as possible.
As 406 MHz transmission is effective 50 seconds after the ELT
activation, if it is reset within this delay, no further radio contact
will be necessary.
The contact details for COSPAS-SARSAT MCCs throughout the
world are published in the COSPAS-SARSAT Data Distribution Plan,
document C/S A.001, Annex II/A ,which can be downloaded free of
charge.

During testing the aircraft VHF radio is tuned to 121.5 MHz.


Reception of the swept tone is confirmation that the transmission is
active.

Requests to conduct a live beacon test should be directed to the


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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

PROGRAMMING DONGLE

MAINTENANCE DONGLE

Aircraft identification is programmed in the ELT using a


programming dongle.

For maintenance purposes, it is possible to delete the identification


information of the ELT by connecting a maintenance dongle to the
ELT. Any accidental transmission with this maintenance dongle will
not initiate SAR operation as the identification code transmitted is
recognized by COSPAS-SARSAT as "not on board".

When an unprogrammed ELT is installed, connected to the


programming dongle, and is switched to "ARM", it automatically
updates its own memory with the identification data contained in
the programming dongle memory.

Programming dongle

The programming dongle remains on board the aircraft.


When the ELT is removed from the aircraft, it keeps its
identification data.

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

2. A320 FAMILY FIXED ELT

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COMPONENTS
The ELT system has:

An ELT (110MX),

An adapter cable (141MX) and programming-dongle


connector (110MX-A),

A remote-control panel (RCP) (111MX),

An antenna (112MX),

A Mounting bracket (140MX).

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

ELT
The ELT is installed in a bracket, held in position with two buckles
and straps, with the interface in flight direction. The bracket is
installed above a ceiling panel 261BC in the AFT utility area. The
bracket has three location holes, two straps and placards
(Identification and Flight direction). The has an aluminium-alloy
casing which is orange-coloured. The casing has two parts (base
plate and housing) that are attached together by screws, washers
and an O-ring, and includes these components:

Placards attached to the casing (Identification, Strap,


Instruction, Type and Battery),

An electronic board,

A three cell battery-pack,

A two cell battery-pack,

An interface,

An auxiliary-antenna (referred to as antenna),

A tether.

The base plate is divided into two compartments by a partition,


with a hole for the electrical cable connection between the batterypacks and the electronic board. The bottom face of the base plate
has three locking pins. The electronic board is installed in the front
half (flight direction) by screws and washers. The battery-packs
are installed in the rear half on a foam wedge, and covered by a
heat-shrink sheath.
The housing is divided into two compartments by a partition. The
front half (flight direction) has the electrical cables that connect the
interface to the electronic board. The rear half has a foam wedge to
prevent damage to the battery-packs.

The antenna is folded back on itself and kept in loops on the straps,
when the ELT is installed in the aircraft. When you remove the
antenna, it will spring quickly back to a straight position. The
antenna is attached to the housing by a stainless-steel cord. The
tether is attached to a strap, and together with the antenna is used
in portable mode.
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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

ELECTRICAL INTERFACE
The interface, on the front face of the housing includes

An RCP connector,

An ANT connector,

A RED indicator,

An ON/OFF/ARMED switch.

The RCP connector is used to connect:

An RCP,

Programming and test equipment.,

An adapter cable (141MX) and programming-dongle


connector (110MX-A) (if installed),

Maintenance-dongle.

For transmission on board, the ELT is connected to the antenna


fixed on the fuselage. Alternatively, the auxiliary antenna can be
connected to the same connector for using the ELT in portable
mode.

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

ADPTER CABLE (141MX)

ANTENNA (112MX)

The programming-dongle programs the ELT with the aircraft


identification and country code.

The antenna is installed on the upper external fuselage between


FR64 and FR65 and held in position with six screws. It transmits
three-frequency omni-directional signals when the ELT operates.

To programme the ELT, connect the programming-dongle to the


RCP connector on the ELT through the adapter cable (141MX), and
set the ELT ON/OFF/ARM switch to the ARM position. The ELT
memory is automatically updated with the data stored in the
programming-dongle memory.

The adapter cable is attached to the bracket, which is installed


above the ceiling panel 261BC in the AFT utility area. The ELT is
installed in the bracket and the programming-dongle connector is
connected directly to the ELT RCP connector. The connector at the
other end of the adapter cable is connected to the connector from
the RCP. The adapter cable is approximately 200 mm (7.87 in.)
long.
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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

MAINTENANCE DONGLE

REMOTE CONTROL PANEL (11MX)

The maintenance-dongle has a maintenance identification data (ID)


code programmed in its memory. When you replace the ELT, the
removed ELT keeps its ID, which is necessary in portable mode. To
prevent two ELTs with the same ID, you must program the removed
ELT with the maintenance-dongle. A RED "Remove before flight"
streamer is attached to the maintenance-dongle. If you accidentally
operate an ELT with a maintenance ID, the signal will be ignored
by the satellite system, and SAR operations are not started.

The ELT can be controlled from the Remote Control Panel (RCP)
located on the overhead panel in the cockpit.
To enable the RCP control, the ON/OFF/ARM switch on the must be
in the ARM position.

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

OPERATION
The ELT transmits distress signals, installed in the aircraft, or used
in portable mode. When the ELT is installed, it can be operated
automatically or manually. When you use the ELT in portable mode
it is operated manually. In portable mode you connect the antenna
to the ANT connection on the ELT. You must remove the antenna
carefully from the loops on the straps, because it is folded, and will
spring quickly back to a straight position. In an emergency over
water you remove the tether from the strap and attach it to a life
raft.
The two battery-packs supply the power to operate the ELT,
installed in the aircraft, or used in portable mode. The 3 cell
battery-pack supplies power to the electronic board which
includes the G-switch, and the 2 cell battery-pack supplies power
to the G-switch.
The 121.5/243 MHz transmitter transmits a "sweep" distress signal
for more than 48 hours at -20.0 deg C (-4.00 deg F) in automatic or
manual operation. The distress signal transmits continuously with
an output power of 100 mW on each frequency. The transmission
starts immediately after the BITE test sequence is completed.

AUTOMATIC OPERATION
When the ELT is connected to its system in the aircraft, and the Gswitch detects an impact sufficient to start transmission.
MANUAL OPERATION

When the ELT is connected to its system in the aircraft and


the G-switch is not triggered, but a signal must be
transmitted
(aircraft
out
of
operation,
injured
passengers/crew members).

When the ELT is connected to its system in the aircraft and


you do a self-test (BITE).

When the ELT is disconnected from its system, removed


from the aircraft and used in portable mode.

ACCIDENTAL OPERATION

When the ELT is connected to its system in the aircraft, and


the G-switch starts transmission without a real emergency
(hard landing).

The 406 MHz transmitter transmits a digital signal for 24 hours at 20.0 deg C (-4.00 deg F) in automatic or manual operation. The
digital signal is a message of 122 bits (aircraft identification)
transmitted every 50 seconds for 440 msec. The first transmission
starts after 50 seconds.

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

CONTROLS AND INDICATIONS ON ELT


The ON/OFF/ARM switch has these functions:
Set to the ON position for manual operation of the ELT. When you
set the ON/OFF/ARM switch to the ON position, the BITE test
operates automatically before transmission starts.
Set to the OFF position:

When the ELT is connected to its system in the aircraft and


requires maintenance, or is parked for a long time.

When the ELT is disconnected from its system and removed


from the aircraft.

To stop transmission.

Set to the ARM position for automatic operation of the ELT. When
you set the ON/OFF/ARM switch to the ARM position from the OFF
position the BITE test operates automatically.

The RED indicator and buzzer operate when the ELT operates, or to
indicate the BITE test result.
When the ELT operates:

The RED indicator flashes two times per second during


121.5 MHz/243 MHz transmission and one long flash during
406 MHz transmission.

The buzzer sounds two beeps per second during 121.5 MHz
/243 MHz transmission and is silent during 406 MHz
transmission.

When the ELT is tested:

The RED indicator comes once at the beginning and after


three seconds for a 3 second duration.

Short pulses indicate test failure.

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

CONTROLS AND INDICATIONS ON RCP


The ON-ARMED-TEST/RESET switch:

Is set to the ARMED position for automatic operation of the


ELT. The switch is kept in the ARMED position by a stop,
which is part of the switch assembly.

Is set to the ON position for manual operation of the ELT.


You must pull the switch to clear the stop, and then set it to
the ON position.

Is set to the TEST/RESET position to stop accidental


operation, or to do a BITE test. The switch goes back
automatically to the ARMED position after you have set it to
the TEST/RESET position.

The ON/TEST indicator comes on when the ELT operates, or to


indicate the BITE test result. When the ELT operates the ON/TEST
indicator:

Flashes two times per second during 121.5 MHz - 243 MHz
transmission

And, one long flash during 406 MHz transmission.

Note: During testing, the ground horn sounds and on 108 VU


panel, ELT indicator light (113MX) illuminates.

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

3. A320 FAMILY PORTABLE


ELT
(Refer supplementary notes)

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TRANSMITTER (ELT)

REVIEW QUESTIONS

REFERENCES

1.

For further information, read:

2.

COSPAS-SARSAT satellites can receive:


(a) 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz signals

www.cospas-sarsat.org

(b) 406 MHz signals

AMM Chapter 25-65

(c) Both (a) and (b)

CANNAD 406 technical documentation

If an on-board ELT is accidentally activated for 40 seconds


before it is noticed and turned off,
(a) 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz signals have been transmitted
(b) 406 MHz signals have been transmitted
(c) Both (a) and (b)

3.

What CANNOT you do on the Remote control Panel (RCP) in


the cockpit?
(a) Activation of transmission
(b) Test
(c) Programming aircraft identification

4.

During testing, a series of short red flashes indicates


(a) Test fail
(b) Test Pass
(c) 406 MHz transmission

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