The COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system is used in distress situations by ships, aircrafts and individuals. Its operation is based on the use of special devices that are activated in case of an emergency situation. Upon activation the signal is sent to the satellite network system. The satellites then, relay the distress signal to ground stations, known as Local Users Terminals (LUT). Following the appropriate data processing, the determination of the precise location of the activated beacon is feasible. The message is then forwarded to a Mission Control Centre (MCC) or the respective Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) to initiate the rescue operation.
The significant advantage of the COSPAS-SARSAT system is that it locates the position of the ship, aircraft or individual in distress, thus limiting the search area. This provides the possibility of immediate detection and rapid assistance, without loss of time and needless expenses.
The System is available to maritime and aviation users and to persons in distress situations. Access is provided to all States on a non-discriminatory basis, and is free of charge for the end-user in distress. On average, about 5 persons are rescued every day with the assistance of COSPAS-SARSAT alert and location data.
COSPAS-SARSAT co-operates with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and other International Organisations to ensure the compatibility of the COSPAS-SARSAT distress alerting services with the needs, the standards and the applicable recommendations of the international community.
COSPAS-SARSAT SYSTEM OPERATION
|1.||A possible incident occurs. The emergency beacon emits the alarm signal.|
|2.||The COSPAS-SARSAT satellites receive the signal and relay it to ground stations (LUT).|
|3.||The LUT processes the signal and sends a message including the position of the incident to a Mission Control Centre (MCC) State that operates the LUT.|
|4.||After verifying the accuracy of the alarm, and depending on the position and nationality of the beacon, the message is forwarded to other MCC or the respective Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC).|
|5.||The RCC is coordinating the Search and Rescue Mission.|