Honeywell Global Tracking today announced that the Galileo search and rescue program, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), will be based in large part on next-generation search and rescue solutions developed by Honeywell Global Tracking.
Galileo, the upcoming pan-European geo-positioning satellite system, includes an advanced search and rescue system that is fully compatible with the international Cospas-Sarsat standard.
Honeywell Global Tracking is working in partnership with the Aerospace & Defense division of Capgemini, the prime contractor of the Galileo search and rescue program, to deliver a high-precision positioning system that will lead to reduced emergency response times for European search and rescue agencies.
Galileo's new search and rescue system is based on the following components:
Distress radio beacons &emdash; ELTs (Emergency Locator Transmitters) for aviation use, EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) for maritime use, and PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) for personal use &emdash; which transmit signals during distress situations;
&emdash;Instruments on board satellites in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) which detect the signals transmitted by distress radio beacons;
&emdash;Ground receiving stations, which receive and process the satellite signals to generate distress alerts; and
&emdash;Mission Control Centers (MCCs) which receive the alerts and forward them to Rescue Coordination Centers (RCCs), and other Mission Control Centers (MCCs)
The next-generation Medium Earth Orbit satellites and the corresponding ground stations are instrumental in dramatically reducing emergency response times. The time from beacon transmission to detection and process
ing on the Honeywell Global Tracking developed MEO ground stations is measured in minutes, compared to up to several hours using traditional search and rescue systems based only on Geostationary and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.
In addition to the positioning improvements, the system includes a new service which will allow the sending of an acknowledgement message to the emergency beacon so that the person in distress knows his signal has been received.
With more than 30 years of experience in search and rescue systems, and the overwhelming majority of deployed MEO ground stations with Cospas-Sarsat customers, the ESA search and rescue program validates the unique capabilities and technological leadership of our MEO-based solution," said Dino Koutrouki, General Manager of Honeywell Global Tracking.
Capgemini, prime contractor of the program and
one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, partnered with three firms in order to give the European Space Agency an end-to-end search and rescue system, including IT management and a pan-European communication network between ground stations and the control center:
&emdash;Honeywell Global Tracking (Canada) for the equipment of three satellite ground stations on the sites of Maspalomas (Canary Islands), Svalbard (Norway), and Makarios (Cyprus)
&emdash;ELTA (France) for supplying a new generation of distress beacons
&emdash;GEANT (Great Britain) for the network infrastructure
This program is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2014.
Pierre-Jean Merc&emdash;, program director at Capgemini:
"The implementation of the search and rescue Galileo ground segment allows the Capgemini Space teams in Toulouse, in collaboration with its partners, to leverage extensive search and rescue experience as well as critical systems integration expertise. We are proud to contribute to the development of this state-of-the-art project which will help save more lives."
About Honeywell Global Tracking
Honeywell International (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Honeywell Global Tracking (HGT) is a Strategic Business Entity within Honeywell Scanning & Mobility (HSM), part of the Automation and Control Solutions (ACS) business group of Honeywell.