Radio Survey

Performance Standards for GMDSS equipment

Category: General

When we carry out the annual performance test of the GMDSS equipment the main task is to check whether the equipment operates as expected by predefined standards.

The GMDSS equipment should be constructed and installed in such a way that it is easily accessible for inspection during Annual Safety Radio Survey and onboard maintenance purposes.

During the survey, various malfunctions may be detected, but they are not always a reason for the delay of the ship in port. 


SOLAS IV/15.8 says:

«While all reasonable steps shall be taken to maintain the equipment in efficient working order to ensure compliance with all the functional requirements specified in regulation TV/4 malfunction of the equipment for providing the general radiocommunications required by regulation IV/4.8 shall not be considered as making a ship unseaworthy or as a reason for delaying the ship in ports where repair facilities are not readily available, provided the ship is capable of performing all distress and safety functions.»

Thus it is srtongly recommended to test GMDSS equipment and carry out performance tests to be sure it complies with following Performance Standards.


How to Conduct a GMDSS Inspection (FCC version)

Category: General

The GMDSS replaces the ship-to-ship safety system that used manual Morse code with a ship-to-shore safety system that uses satellite and automated terrestrial communications systems. The GMDSS requires ships to carry various types of communications equipment depending upon the voyages of the ship rather than the gross tonnage. The GMDSS also requires ships to comply with certain functional requirements.

The GMDSS rules are found in subpart W of Part 80 [Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, Part 80] and are applicable to the appropriate tonnage and operational areas of Passenger and Cargo vessels.

Under the Communications Act, Fishing vessels are considered to be Cargo vessels and, all these vessels are the subject to Radio Inspection.

To provide a GMDSS inspection the engineer must obtain an appropriate license for Inspectors.

In the course of survey carrying, the inspector should draw-up a report of Inspection. 

A report of Radio Inspection provided can contain a Radio Technician's Remarks.

It is suggested that one copy of appropriate report be
left onboard and one copy be kept with the Surveyor.


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.

SART Testing

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.


GMDSS Testers at POSIDONIA 2016

Category: General

6th – 11th June 2016 GMDSS Test Equipment was represented at a booth on International Exhibition Posidonia 2016 in Athens, Greece.

Over 80 global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies participated at Posidonia 2016 this summer. Thus, GMDSS Testers representatives were pleased to accept numerous guests and to communicate with the old as well as with the recent customers and business partners.

GMDSS Tester at Posidonia 2016

The innovative device BEACON Tester Mini has great success. Previously our clients and customers had chance to learn about this device from video and advertising mailshot, and now the number of service authorities had chance to see and to try it in operation.

Greece is one of the strategic markets where GMDSS Test Equipment has a large number of our Radio Survey equipment users. We recollected a range of the feedback from service engineers (radio inspectors) that use test equipment in every day life and our engineer team will consider and strong up the quality and efficiency of our products and services for better customer satisfaction.

We appreciated much this possibility of meet-at-real with customers and partners, organized by Posidonia. And furthermore we would like to say “thank you” to all our visitors and guests at this event.


Annual testing of Automatic Identification System (AIS)

Category: AIS

SOLAS Chapter V, Regulation 18.9 states:

“The automatic identification system (AIS) shall be subjected to an annual test. The test shall be conducted by an approved surveyor or an approved testing or servicing facility. The test shall verify the correct programming of the ship static information, correct data exchange with connected sensors as well as verifying the radio performance by radio frequency measurement and on-air test using, e.g. a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS). A copy of the test report shall be retained on board the ship.”

The Maritime Safety Committee, at its eighty-third session (3-12 October 2007), approved the Guidelines on annual testing of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) developed by the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation.

AIS annual test

The purpose of an annual testing is to determine that AIS is operational as defined in appropriate performance standards - the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Performance Standard (MSC 74(69)) and IEC standard, IEC 61993-2: Maritime Navigation and Radio Communications Equipment and Standards – Automatic Identification Systems (AIS).

The annual testing of the automatic identification system (AIS) should be carried out by a qualified radio inspector authorized by the administration or a recognized organization under the following testing procedure.

The radio inspector shall have the major and auxiliary equipment required for correctly performing the inspection - the AIS Tester - which helps to decode and check all programming information, as well as to carry out the Performance tests - to measure frequencies, output power, poll information, send to and receive data from AIS.

GMDSS Testers All in One

AIS Tester

AIS Tester

AIS Tester is professional equipment for surveyors to provide mandatory annual testing of the Class A and Class B AIS mobile stations and AIS-SARTs in accordance with requirements of IMO and SOLAS. Complies with with IMO circular letter “Guidelines on annual testing of the AIS unit MSC.1/Circ.1252”.



BEACON TESTER enables professional checking of all types of maritime emergency radio beacons that operate in COSPAS-SARSAT system like EPIRBs, PLB. Provides mandatory annual EPIRB testing in accordance with IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1039, 1040.

Beacon Tester Mini Wi-Fi

Beacon Tester Mini Wi-Fi

EPIRB Tester Mini w/ W-Fi is the fourth generation Beacon Tester appointed to check the maritime distress beacons (EPIRBs, PLBs) operating via COSPAS-SARSAT system. This device is really lightweight and is capable to operate via Wi-Fi with any smartphone, tablet or laptop. Its operation complies with SOLAS regulation, IMO 1039 and 1040 Circulars.



GMDSS Multi Tester MRTS-7M is the first hand-held Multi Tester enabling the testing of all GMDSS equipment: AIS Stations, EPIRBs, VHF and MF/HF Radios with DSC, AIS-SART and NAVTEX. The cutting-edge software is compatible with all operation systems. Automatic generation of test reports for all the range of tested equipment. And all reports are in IMO-required format. Less paper work, more surveys!