Search and rescue technology saves thousands of lives around the world every year. As part of an international satellite-aided search and rescue effort, the NASA Search and Rescue Office develops, tests and refines technology to help rescue people in distress. The Search and Rescue Office creates many new technologies and perfects existing ones. This helps increase the number of lives saved around the world in boating accidents, airplane crashes, and personal emergencies.
On 11 February 2019 at 2319 UTC (1819 EST) an Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon) was detected at 32 40.3N 117 10.7W, 1 NM southwest of Coronado, CA. It was activated when the 38-foot pleasure craft DIVIDED SOUL, with 3 people on board, capsized.
On 04 February 2019 at 0849 UTC (0349 EST) an Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon (EPIRB) was detected at 35 13.8N 75 35.2W, less than 1 NM offshore from Cape Hatteras, NC.
On 31 January 2019 at 2336 UTC (1836 EST) a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) was detected at 68 13.7N 166 02.2W, 10 miles northwest of Chariot, AK. It was activated by the driver of a snowmobile after it malfunctioned.
For more than 40 years, NASA has supported both national and international search and rescue efforts through technology development and enhancement. The Search and Rescue Office supports both the worldwide Cospas-Sarsat program and the U.S. Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking program.
The Cospas-Sarsat program was established in 1979 as a search and rescue partnership between the U.S., Canada, France and the former Soviet Union, now the Russian Federation. The program provides accurate, timely and reliable distress alert and location data to help first responders find and rescue people in emergencies. Today, more than 40 countries and organizations are associated with the program and actively participate in the management and operation of the Cospas-Sarsat system.
The U.S. Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking program began in the 1970s and is a joint effort between four organizations: the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Air Force, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA.
NASA’s Search and Rescue Office leads the development and refinement of cutting-edge search and rescue technology. Their work helps to save thousands of lives around the world annually. They work on important technology like rescue beacons for personal and commercial use, satellites, and even antennas. Learn more about these technologies at the link below.
Satellite-aided search and rescue is a collaborative effort involving a number of national and international organizations. The International Cospas-Sarsat Programme was founded in 1979 to provide timely, accurate and reliable location data to first responders. The U.S. serves on the Cospas-Sarsat Council and a number of agencies are instrumental in ensuring the robustness of the search and rescue network. NASA lends its expertise in technology development through their Search and Rescue (SAR) office.