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Personal Locator Beacons - Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System

NOAA Innovation in Everyday Life

Personal Locator Beacons - Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System

Around the world...around the clock...NOAA proudly stands watch.  As an integral part of worldwide search and rescue, NOAA operates the Search And Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) system to detect and locate mariners, aviators, and recreational enthusiasts in distress almost anywhere in the world at anytime and in almost any condition.

The SARSAT system uses NOAA satellites in low-earth and geostationary orbits to detect and locate aviators, mariners, and land-based users in distress. The satellites relay distress signals from emergency beacons to a network of ground stations and ultimately to the U.S. Mission Control Center (USMCC) in Suitland, Maryland. The USMCC processes the distress signal and alerts the appropriate search and rescue authorities to the location of distress. Truly, SARSAT takes the "search" out of search and rescue!

NOAA-SARSAT is a part of the international Cospas-Sarsat Program and is part of international search and rescue planning.  The system is free to use in an emergency but does require the purchase of an emergency beacon.

SARSAT - A Lifeline to Survival!


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