Thursday, October 10, 2013

European satellites included in test of search-and-rescue system

Terra Daily via UPI: A pair of dedicated ground stations at opposite ends of Europe will let satellites participate in global testing of a search-and-rescue system, scientists say.

The completion of the Maspalomas station at the southern end of the largest island of the Canary Islands, linked with the Svalbard site on Spitsbergen in the Norwegian arctic, has enabled Europe's Galileo global positioning system satellites in orbit to be included in testing of the Cospas-Sarsat search-and-rescue system, the European Space Agency said Tuesday.

Cospas-Sarsat, founded by Canada, France, Russia and the United States, has been instrumental in rescuing thousands of lost or stranded people in its three decades of service, the ESA said.

Distress signals from across the globe are detected by satellites and quickly relayed to the nearest search-and-rescue authorities.

Including the Galileo satellites is part of a major expansion of the system intended to improve coverage and response times.

While supporting search and rescue is a separate function to the Galileo satellites' main task of providing global navigation and timing services, it is no less important, ESA scientists said...

In 2005, the US Coast Guard rescues a pregnant woman after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans

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