Orolia Upgrades U.S. SAR Ground Stations for the NOAA - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

Orolia Upgrades U.S. SAR Ground Stations for the NOAA

Orolia, which provides GNSS-based systems for defense and commercial industries around the world, has successfully installed the world’s first operational Cospas-Sarsat second-generation technology on search and rescue ground stations for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Florida and Hawaii. These ground stations have been upgraded with Second Generation Beacon (SGB) signal processing capabilities to more accurately and quickly locate the source of distress signals.

The Cospas-Sarsat global search and rescue system has developed specifications for a Second Generation 406 MHz search and rescue beacon that uses a modern, spread spectrum signal to achieve far more accurate and robust performance. Orolia is at the forefront of these technology developments, with the NOAA Florida and Hawaii ground stations as the only operationally-ready Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) ground stations in the world to receive the SGB signal specification capability.

“The work performed by Orolia was exceptional, as the process of upgrading an operational system to a higher set of requirements, years after its initial design, involves minimizing downtime while validating the new requirements and revalidating the previous requirements,” said Mickey Fitzmaurice, NOAA SARSAT Systems Engineer. “The successful result makes it obvious that the engineering and operations team at Orolia put a great deal of time and effort into planning the upgrade, as the execution was seamless.”

Orolia has also recently announced the launch of the world’s first Galileo enabled Personal Locator Beacon and the commissioning of the world’s first two nodal LEOSAR-GEOSAR-MEOSAR (LGM) Mission Control Centers.

“This series of world firsts demonstrates Orolia’s broad technical leadership in the global search and rescue ecosystem,” said Orolia Director of SARSAT Operations, Steve Ludwig said in a news release. “We continually innovate to enhance the usefulness of these technologies, from generating encrypted beacon alert signals to including alert authentication through the use of Galileo Return Link Service.”

Through its McMurdo brand development and installation of search and rescue ground-based infrastructure, Orolia equips global systems with the very latest search and rescue technology to improve response times and save more lives worldwide.