Lifesaving Partners

SARSAT’s success is reliant on the partnership between its founding US Federal Agencies… NOAA, NASA, DAF and USCG

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SARSAT 406 Beacon Awareness Day 2022

April 6 is also known as 406 Day in honor of the frequency used by distress beacons. This interactive story map outlines why this day is celebrated.

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NOAA satellites helped save 330 lives in 2021

NOAA’s fleet of advanced satellites are essential for predicting weather and climate, and last year they also helped rescue 330 people from potentially life-threatening situations throughout the United States and its surrounding waters.

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Saving Lives Since 1982

406 Beacons continue to prove themselves a lifesaver in remote areas. Here are details on beacons-related U.S. rescues.

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Search and Rescue (SAR)

SAR crews closest to the location of the distress are tasked to carry out the emergency response

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406 Emergency Distress Beacons

Cospas-Sarsat 406 MHz beacons are capable of transmitting a distress signal thousands of miles into space

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Satellite System

Five different satellite constellations support the SARSAT System, providing comprehensive coverage worldwide

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MEOSAR Satellites

Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue Satellites -the latest innovation in Satellite Aided Search and Rescue

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Local User Terminals

LUTs, also known as ground stations, receive and process distress beacon signals picked up by satellite

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Mission Control Center(MCC)

Operators monitor and validate incoming 406 distress beacon data from satellites

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Rescue Coordination Center (RCC)

The location and other relevant information regarding the distress are sent to an RCC who initiate a rescue mission

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Search and Rescue (SAR)

SAR crews closest to the location of the distress are tasked to carry out the emergency response

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SAVING LIVES SINCE 1982

To date over 50,000 people worldwide, in distress situations, have been rescued because they carried a 406 beacon as part of their survival gear.

sarsat beacon registration

REGISTER YOUR 406 BEACON

That is the fastest and simplest way for SAR authorities to respond to your distress or confirm a false alert. All U.S. coded beacons must be registered with NOAA

ABOUT SARSAT

Find out how we detect and locate aviators, mariners and land-based 406 beacon users in distress using space-based tech.

LIVES SAVED

406 Beacons continue to prove themselves a lifesaver in remote areas. Here are details on beacons-related U.S. rescues.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Knowing how to properly operate your 406 beacon avoids costly false alerts and unnecessary SAR Crew Deployment.

The SARSAT system is fully operational and detection and delivery of distress alerts have not been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, the SARSAT website may not be updated regularly, please reference the date of the information. We will continue to update as possible. Beacon registrations continue to be processed normally.

For important information on Ameri-King ELT air worthiness Directives, recalls on Kannad EPIRBS, how to avoid Inadvertant 406 beacon activations, and a warning regarding unapproved beacon batteries, visit our safety notices page.