McMurdo announces world’s first four-frequency EPIRB

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(HAMBURG, Germany) — McMurdo has announced a new family of EPIRBs that will accelerate the search and rescue process by combining multiple frequencies into a single EPIRB product.

The McMurdo SmartFind and Kannad SafePro EPIRBs will be the world’s first distress beacons that can support each of the four frequencies used in the search and rescue process: 406 MHz and 121.5 MHz for beacon transmission; GNSS for location positioning; and AIS for localized connectivity. This multiple-frequency capability will ensure faster detection, superior positioning accuracy, greater signal reliability and ultimately, accelerated rescue of people or vessels in distress.

Global and local technology convergence — The majority of today’s EPIRBs use 406 MHz and 121.5 MHz frequencies via satellite communication to provide location and positioning data to global search-and-rescue personnel who may be several hundred miles away. The additional AIS channels on the new McMurdo SmartFind G8 AIS and Kannad SafePro AIS EPIRBs will send position signal information to standard AIS electronic equipment on nearby vessels for complementary, local tracking and rescue capabilities. This global and local rescue capability will result in quicker signal detection and faster response times.

Expanded satellite connectivity — McMurdo SmartFind and Kannad SafePro EPIRBs have a multiple GNSS satellite constellation receiver supporting Galileo (once the Galileo constellation is fully operational), GPS and GLONASS — from a single beacon. Advanced GNSS data processing results in faster detection of positioning coordinates and enhances the accuracy of the emergency location.

Part of a cohesive ecosystem — The McMurdo SmartFind and Kannad SafePro EPIRBs are part of McMurdo’s comprehensive search and rescue ecosystem. As the world’s only provider of an end-to-end search and rescue ecosystem — including distress beacons, satellite ground stations, mission control and rescue coordination systems and rescue response products — McMurdo builds, integrates and tests products as part of a live search and rescue system. This ensures greater cohesion between distress signal transmission and reception so that beacon owners can feel confident that their signals will get to search and rescue authorities quickly.

MEOSAR compatibility — The McMurdo SmartFind and Kannad SafePro EPIRBs are designed to be fully compatible with MEOSAR, the next generation of the Cospas-Sarsat international search and rescue satellite system that has helped to save over 40,000 lives since 1982. MEOSAR will increase the speed and accuracy of beacon signal detection and location with new MEOSAR ground network infrastructure and additional MEOSAR satellites. When fully deployed, a MEOSAR-compatible beacon can be located with an accuracy of location within 100 meters (328 feet), 95 percent of the time — and within five minutes of distress signal activation, all without reliance on GNSS. McMurdo currently manufactures approximately 50 percent of the world’s MEOSAR infrastructure and is also leading the design of additional MEOSAR-capable beacons under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program’s HELIOS project.

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By Professional Mariner Staff