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CDR Erin MacDonald U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Search and Rescue (CG-534) 22 Feb 2008 PowerPoint Presentation
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EPIRB & PLB Alert Issues. CDR Erin MacDonald U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Search and Rescue (CG-534) 22 Feb 2008. Rescue 21 Fielded Capability – to date . Great Lakes. Northeast. West Coast.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

EPIRB & PLB Alert Issues

CDR Erin MacDonald

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters

Office of Search and Rescue (CG-534)

22 Feb 2008

uscg rescue 21 acceptance schedule

Great Lakes

Northeast

West Coast

Buffalo, NY……………2008-11Detroit, MI……………..2008-11Lake Michigan………...2008-11Sault Ste. Marie, MI…..2008-11

  • Northern New England…..2007-10
  • Boston, MA………………..2007-09
  • SE New England…………2007-10
  • New York, NY…………….Nov’07
  • Long Is Sound, NY/CT….Oct’07
  • Seattle, WA…………..2006
  • Port Angeles, WA…...2006
  • Astoria, OR…………..Apr’08
  • North Bend, OR……..Jun’08*
  • Portland, OR…………Jul’08Humboldt Bay, CA……2008-10San Francisco, CA……2008-10 LA/Long Beach, CA…..2008-10 San Diego, CA………..2007-10

Mid-Atlantic

  • Atlantic City, NJ………….2005
  • Eastern Shore, VA……….2005
  • Delaware Bay................... Sep’07
  • Baltimore, MD.................. May’08*
  • Hampton Roads, VA...... Feb’08

Alaska

Juneau, AK………TBD

Anchorage, AK…..TBD

Southeast

Gulf Coast

OCONUS Islands

  • North Carolina………...2007-09
  • Charleston, SC………..2007-09
  • Jacksonville, FL……...Jan’08
  • Miami, FL………………Mar’08 *
  • Key West, FL…...……..Sep’08

Honolulu, HI………2008-11

Guam……………...2008-11

San Juan, PR….…2009-11

  • Mobile, AL………………………2006
  • St Petersburg, FL……………...2006
  • New Orleans, LA (Coastal)… .Feb’07
  • New Orleans, LA………………Nov’08
  • Houston/Galveston, TX………Oct’08
  • Corpus Christi, TX…………….Aug’08*
USCG Rescue 21 Acceptance Schedule

Western Rivers

(Recapitalize current coverage/capability)

Ohio River Valley………TBD Upper Mississippi……..TBDLower Mississippi………TBD

 Sector accepted by USCG  Scheduled for acceptance through 2008 * Tower coverage issues outstanding; acceptance date subject to change

slide4

EPIRB & PLB Alert Issues

CDR Erin MacDonald

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters

Office of Search and Rescue (CG-534)

22 Feb 2008

slide5

EPIRB & PLB Alert Issues

  • The SARSAT System
  • Termination of 121.5 MHz beacon alerts
  • EPIRB False Alert Study
  • New Direction Finding Capability
  • Outreach and Education Efforts
slide7

SARSAT Alerts in the US SAR Region

These dots represent 6965 SARSAT alerts between 2001-2006 for distress, non-distress, undetermined, ceased/ undetermined.

90% of EPIRB SAR Cases are within 20 NMof shoreline.

need for satellite aided sar
Need for Satellite-Aided SAR
  • SAR Satellite-aided Tracking (SARSAT) contributes to saving an average of 300 persons in the US and 1,300 persons around the world every year
  • In 2007, SARSAT helped save 353 lives in the U.S.
  • Over 22,000 lives have been saved worldwide since 1982
slide9

121.5 MHz Phase-Out

  • International Termination of 121.5/243 MHz Satellite Alerting Occurs On:
    • February 1, 2009!
    • U.S. Termination of 121.5 MHz EPIRBs = 3 Phases
      • Certification of new 121.5 EPIRBs ceased
      • Sales and manufacture ceased in 2003
      • Operation/Use of 121.5 MHz EPIRBs became prohibited on Jan 1, 2007
slide10

406 MHz Beacons

  • At the end of 2007, there were approx 191,000 registered 406 MHz beacons in the U.S.:
  • 143,000 EPIRBs carried on comm & rec vsls;
  • 18,000 Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) carried on aircraft;
  • 30,000 Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) carried by individuals in harsh environments;
  • 175 Ship Security Alert System beacons.

EPIRB

ELT

PLB

SSAS

slide11

EPIRB False Alert Abatement Project

  • Approx 92% of alerts rcvd fm 406 MHz beacons are false
  • 17:1 false to real distress
  • CG spent ~$3.6M on non-distress alerts in FY2007 (that we know of)
  • Intangible costs
    • Risk to the lives of SAR crews
    • SAR resources not available when needed
  • Approx 82% of EPIRBs are registered. Valuable time is lost on detective work when an unregistered beacon is activated
slide13

Reasons For False Alerts

User Error

  • Testing
  • Installation
  • Improper disposal

Manufacturing/Design

      • Compromised magnetic reed switch
      • Weathering/corrosion
      • Bracket failure
      • Electronic malfunctions

ELTs in recycling bin

EPIRB placed backwards in housing

Broken tab on activation button

Broken antenna

slide14

EPIRB False Alert Abatement Project

  • What needs to be done?
  • Improve detection capabilities
  • Identify faulty EPIRBs
  • Educate mariners
  • Additional standards for designing EPIRBs and their brackets by RTCM
slide15

USCG 406 MHz DF Capabilities

The Problem

  • Legacy CG aircraft homing equipment could not DF on the 406 MHz signal and would typically lock on to the 121.5 MHz signal only in close proximity (less than 5 NM).

The Solution

  • The CG is in the process of equipping aircraft with 406 MHz DFs.
  • This is a huge advantage since a beacon’s 121.5MHz signal is only 25 milliwatts, but a 406MHz data burst is transmitted at 5 watts every 52 seconds! Also, the 406MHz burst is not easily degraded by environmental obstacles like the weaker 121.5 signal.
slide16

USCG 406 MHz DF Capabilities

S/V Paradox

Voyage from Honduras to Florida

HU-25 unable to locate

C-130 w/ new 406 DF located

220nm SW of Tampa, FL

slide17

USCG 406 MHz DF Capabilities

Shore-Side Direction Finding--Rescue 21

  • On 18 Dec 2007, approval was given to add 406MHz detection & homing capability to all coastal VHF comms towers (the Rescue 21 system).
  • This capability is essential since the majority of maritime SAR cases occur within 20 NM of the shore

406MHz DF on Cutters and Boats

  • The USCG is currently considering adding 406 MHz DF capability to small boats and cutters due to the proven superiority of this direction finding technology.
  • This upgrade will directly contribute to the saving of lives as well as significant search / cost savings when the CG can quickly isolate activated beacons in harbors and marinas.
slide18

The Way Ahead

Education and Outreach on Beacon Issues

  • CG Boarding Officers, Inspectors, Examiners
  • Boating organizations
  • Maritime Community

Beacon Registration

  • Work w/ NOAA to monitor registration rates
  • Public education on importance of beacon registration

Improvements to Beacon Standards

  • Work w/ RTCM (manufacturers and govt agencies) to improve beacon and bracket standards
slide19

How the US Power Squadron Can Help

the CG SAR Program

EDUCATION and OBSERVATION:

Does boat owner/operator have a 406MHz EPIRB or PLB?

  • If a 121.5MHz EPIRB is found, educate on reasons to replace (signal from 121.5 will not alert rescue personnel after 1Feb09 and 121.5 EPIRBs are prohibited by U.S. law).

Does the EPIRB or PLB have a current registration?

  • Assist owner with beacon registration by providing registration form or website address. www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov

Is EPIRB properly mounted and in good condition?

  • Ensure bracket will prevent false activation

Report any significant beacon issues to CG Office of SAR.

slide20

It’s Not Just About Boaters!

  • 16 FEB 2008
  • PLB Rescue
  • British National
  • 75 mi NW of Puerto Plata, DR
  • HH-60 Recovery
  • PLB Registered in New Zealand
slide21

EPIRB & PLB Alert Issues

Any Questions???

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters

Office of Search and Rescue (CG-534)

CDR Erin MacDonald LCDR Kathy Niles

erin.d.macdonald@uscg.mil or katherine.m.niles@uscg.mil

(202) 372-2080 (202) 372-2089

Visit Our Website! http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/g-opr.htm