Surrey-based Sartech Engineering Ltd, one of the world’s leading specialists in search and rescue technology, is offering a new emergency beacon monitor that is set to revolutionise the way that ports, airfields and national parks respond to signals from EPIRBs, ELTs and PLBs.

Currently, if an emergency beacon is activated the signal is picked-up by the Cospas Sarsat satellite network and relayed to the relevant Rescue Co-ordination Centre. The Search & Rescue databases are then searched for the registered owner’s contact details and the position of the signal is identified and fed back to the investigation. Probable scenarios are then drawn up and phone calls made to eliminate or confirm possible solutions. Finally, the appropriate emergency rescue response can either be triggered or the alert cancelled.

With this new monitor, signals from emergency beacons covering a wide area are detected, logged and mapped instantaneously giving the relevant port authority, airfield operator, marina manager or park ranger a real-time notification of any possible emergencies. The alert can then be investigated locally and the appropriate action taken before the emergency services are even put on standby.

The new device is compatible with all past, present and future Cospas Sarsat channels and despite its compact dimensions (4.3 x 2.5 x 1 inches) it has -125dBm receiver sensitivity which gives it an impressive range. It comes with its own customisable user interface software with power and PC interface via USB cable. All output data is in XML format which is very useful for database applications. Live beacon activation notification can be set up with a flashing LED, audible alarm or via built-in relay contacts to external buzzers. Headline data from detected alerts can also be sent via text message or e-mail to selected contacts.

“Emergency beacons are becoming more and more common outside commercial operations,” explains Sartech Managing Director Peter Forey. “The popularity of smaller personal beacons for outdoor pursuits gives authorities and operators the opportunity to provide peace of mind to their customers. This new beacon monitor provides faster distinction between real and false alerts, reduced rescue response times and an easy ‘beacon check’ facility.”

Coming soon is a version with an ethernet interface to connect directly into a network or for remote stand-alone access via the internet. The FBM200 from WS Technologies starts from £2,495 + VAT and is available exclusively through Sartech.