VHF DSC EPIRBs and EPIRBs fitted with AIS

Category: EPIRB

The GMDSS regulations allow vessels trading exclusively within A1 areas to carry an EPIRB operating on VHF channel 70 in lieu of a 406 MHz EPIRB.

The VHF DSC EPIRB must be capable of transmitting a Distress Alert using digital selective calling techniques. In order that it may be located by searching ships and aircraft, the EPIRB must also be capable of transmitting X-band radar locating signals.

VHF DSC EPIRBs are not fitted to GMDSS vessels, and are rarely if ever, used elsewhere.

A proposed new variant of the 406 MHz EPIRB includes an AIS burst transmitter as an additional locating aid. The designation of this device is EPIRB-AIS. The AIS burst transmitter will operate in a similar way to an AIS-SART, transmitting an updated position via AIS. The IMO has stipulated that these devices must still include a 121.5 MHz homing beacon for aircraft (or suitably equipped ships).

Although an international numbering format for the numerical identities (MMSI) to be used for the AIS transmitter has been agreed (974xxyyyy), these devices have yet to be brought into service.

It has also been agreed that the associated text to be transmitted by the AIS transmitter in active mode is EPIRB-ACTIVE, and EPIRB-TEST in test mode.

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Inadvertent activation of 406MHz EPIRBs

Category: EPIRB

Every year valuable resources are wasted in locating EPIRBs which have been activated inadvertently. Masters and Officers need to be aware that even a single burst from a 406 MHz EPIRB can be detected instantaneously by the Cospas–Sarsat GEOSAR system which will result in an RCC being alerted. 
As to US Coast Guard report: 96% 406 MHz EPIRB Alerts are false.

Should it be suspected that an EPIRB has been activated inadvertently, the Master or person responsible for the vessel must immediately advise the MRCC for their area of operation.

Sarsat Beacon Monitor

 

Real-time beacon monitoring is offered to be used as a tool to detect all local inadvertent activation.

406MHz Sarsat Beacon Monitor allows to locate and process all false emergency signals on local area and gives the right to port and airport authorities to contribute penalty charges for false distress signal in accordance with Cospas-Sarsat recommendations.

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Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons

Category: EPIRB

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are small, portable, battery powered radio transmitters that are both watertight and buoyant and transmit in the 406.0 – 406.1 MHz channel. EPIRBs are carried aboard merchant ships, some private vessels, commercial and military aircraft. They also transmit a distinctive swept audio tone signal on the international aeronautical distress frequencies of 121.5 MHz for homing purposes by search and rescue aircraft. Aircraft at 30 000 feet can detect the audio tone signals at approximately 200 n miles.

EPIRBs

EPIRBs are tracking transmitters which aid in the detection and location of boats, aircraft, and people in distress. A PLB (personal locator beacon) is particular type of EPIRB that is typically smaller, has a shorter battery life and unlike a proper EPIRB is registered to a person rather than a vessel. The terms ELB (emergency locator beacon) and ELT (emergency locator transmitter) are used interchangeably with EPIRB only when used on aircraft. Strictly, they are radiobeacons that interface with worldwide offered service of Cospas-Sarsat, the international satellite system for search and rescue (SAR). When manually activated, or automatically activated upon immersion or impact, such beacons send out a distress signal. The signals are monitored worldwide and the location of the distress is detected by non-geostationary satellites doppler trilateration and in more recent EPIRBs also by GPS.

The basic purpose of a distress radiobeacon is to help rescuers find survivors within the so-called "golden day" (the first 24 hours following a traumatic event) during which the majority of survivors can usually be saved.

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GMDSS Testers All in One

BEACON Tester

BEACON Tester

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.

Sarsat Beacon Monitor 406

Sarsat Beacon Monitor 406

Cospas-Sarsat Distress Signal Fixed Receiver (hereafter as Sarsat Beacon Monitor 406 – 406MHz emergency radio beacon monitoring system) is intended for 406MHz emergency radio beacon rapid signals reception, decoding and positioning. The equipment is destined to reduce rescue operation time.