GMDSS Radio Survey Blog

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Evolution of EPIRB Testers

Category: EPIRB

The phased implementation of the GMDSS began with the mandatory equipping of vessels with satellite beacons. Its introduction made it necessary to manufacture EPIRB testers.

IMO required the inspection of emergency beacons to be mandatory. According to its requirements, EPIRB testers must provide accurate measurement of the parameters and performance of the emergency beacon in volume of:

Annual testing of 406 MHz satellite EPIRBs (Resolution MSC.1/Circ.1040/Rev.1 Revised Guidelines on annual testing of 406 MHz satellite EPIRBs adopted on 25 May 2012);

Shore-based maintenance of satellite EPIRBs (Resolution MSC/Circ.1039 Guidelines for shore-based maintenance of satellite EPIRBs adopted on 28 May 2002).



GMDSS Blog: category General

Evolution of testers for GMDSS radio equipment

Category: General

The protection of human life at sea has reached a new level over the past three decades, - since 1992, the phased implementation of the GMDSS (the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System), developed by International Maritime Organization (IMO), began. The principles of the GMDSS are defined by the Regulations of Chapter IV of the International Convention SOLAS-74, as amended in 1988.

By this time, satellite communication systems were widely used, providing fast and reliable communication regardless of distance, as well as narrow-band direct printing telegraph equipment, which replaced the Morse code. A digital selective calling system (DSC) was developed, which made it possible to turn away from keeping a listening watch on the VHF channel 16 (156,8 MHz) and MF frequency 2182 kHz.

By 1999, all vessels falling under the SOLAS convention (passenger vessels, as well as all cargo vessels over 300 gross tonnage) had been re-equipped in accordance with the requirements of the GMDSS.

Thus, the types of radio equipment that should be installed on modern vessels are as follows (depending on the sea area):



"History The lucky yachtsman" On 5 January 1997 the single-handed Tony Bullimore’s yacht participating in around-the-globe race ...


Remote surveys are not a new form of service maintenance; they have been used for some years already. Lots of companies turn to ...


This article gives instruction on installation, registration and use of the GMDSS Multi Software. The software offers easy test results ...


GMDSS batteries constitute an important tool which provides power supply for GMDSS equipment operation in case of ...

GMDSS Blog: category EPIRB

New standards for EPIRB in USA

Category: EPIRB

Now only EPIRBs with GNSS function are approved for sale.

Seafaring was always connected with certain dangers. Since the Titanic all possible measures were applied for preventing marine accidents. The number of casualties is constantly decreasing. Nevertheless, the statistics shows that on average two vessels are still sinking per day.

In case the accident couldn’t be avoided it is vital that the rescue come as soon as possible. One of the tools which helps search and rescue authorities to pinpoint the distress location and identify the vessel is an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or simply EPIRB.



Emergency positioning beacons are one of the most important equipment on board. In case something goes wrong, one of them is of great ...

Our customers and friends know that this year we presented the new great multifunctional tester MRTS-7M that provides testing of AIS, ...

This video illustrates the procedure of inspection of an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) operating via ...


This article illustrates the procedure of inspection of an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) operating via ...

GMDSS Blog: category AIS

Video of AIS Testing by GMDSS Multi Tester MRTS-7M

Category: AIS

You may be a young surveyor, starting your marine survey career, or a highly experienced inspector remembering first Futronic tester. Anyway you will love the new GMDSS Multi Tester MRTS-7M.

This video manual demonstrates the procedure of annual testing of AIS station class A.

Having an old standard tester the inspector has to provide all the measurements one-by-one, switching manually a tester to the proper modes, connecting and reconnecting the cables.

New GMDSS Multi Tester MRTS-7M provides all the measurements automatically. The Tester is designed to be convenient for a surveyor.

Thus the surveyor’s job turns to be easier and more comfortable.



SOLAS Chapter V, Regulation 18.9 states: “The automatic identification system (AIS) shall be subjected to an annual test. The test ...


These ‘MSLS’ or ‘MOB’ devices and systems are intended for very short-range crew retrieval applications. The MSLS ...


AIS is included in the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention, and large ships began fitting AIS in July 2002. AIS transmits, ...

GMDSS Blog: category GMDSS Radio

Communication Systems in the Maritime Industry

Category: GMDSS Radio

Marine communication has long history and continues developing to this day. For the last years this field have been changed and innovated greatly. 

At the first stages of its evolution semaphores and flags were used, later mariners began using radio for transmitting distress signals and also Morse code was in practice.

Only in the second half of twentieth century IMO brought in an automated system of ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore communication and the constant presence of marine officer wasn’t necessary any more. 

Such communication was held by means of on board systems through the shore stations and satellites. Thus ship-to-ship communication was carried by VHF radio, and then DSC appeared. It could provide digitally remote control commands to receive and transmit distress signals, urgent calls and current messages. Today DSC controllers can be combined with VHF radio.



The NAVTEX system provides the automatic dissemination of local Maritime Safety Information (MSI) by Narrow Band Direct Printing (NBDP) ...


Portable two way VHF radiotelephone equipment is used for communications between survival craft and rescue vessels. It may also be used for ...

GMDSS Blog: category SART

Servicing and Testing of Search and Rescue Radar Transponder (SART)

Category: SART

The Search and Rescue Radar Transponder as a part of GMDSS is a subject to annual test during radio survey. The annual testing of SART is recommended due to SOLAS regulation IV/15.8.

The purpose of an annual testing is to determine that SART is operational as defined in appropriate performance standards for Survival Craft Radar Transponders for use in Search and Rescue Operations, IMO Resolution A.802 (19).

Also Marine Orders require that a radar transponder must be inspected, tested and have its batteries replaced at intervals specified by its manufacturer.

Aboard ship, each SART shall be examined at least once a month to check how secure it is its mounting and for signs of damage.

It is not necessary to test the SART aboard ship routinely.

It is recommended not performing any ‘self-test’ whilst at sea, and if in port, the port authority should be advised prior to activation. Some SART’s “self-test” is in fact a live test, and inspection of the SART’s manufacturer’s manual will clarify this.



Since 1 January 2010, AIS – Search and Rescue Transmitters can be carried in lieu of Search and Rescue Radar Transponders on vessels ...


Search and rescue radar Transponders (SARTs) are the main means in the GMDSS for locating ships in distress or their survival craft, and ...

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