Proceedings Of The Marine

FALL 2011

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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repeaters on a mid-Earth orbiting system such as the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) or other interna- tional global navigation system satellites (GNSS). In 2000, the United States, Canada, the European Commission, and Russia began discussions within Cospas-Sarsat regarding the feasibility of installing 0+] UHSHDWHUV RQ WKHLU UHVSHFWLYH *166 FRQVWHO- lations to develop a mid-Earth orbiting search and rescue (MEOSAR) capability for Cospas-Sarsat. One of the intended discussion outcomes was to ensure that all MEOSAR space segments would be totally interoperable and would function with the appropri- ate satellite ground stations regardless of national administration. It was also about this time that the U.S. Sarsat program began its efforts to develop the U.S. MEOSAR system. The U.S. Sarsat program is managed under an inter- agency memorandum of agreement among the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aviation and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Air Force. These agencies are responsible for the planning, programming, bud- JHWLQJ DQG H[HFXWLRQ RI RXU QDWLRQDO VSDFH EDVHG GLV- tress alerting system, ensuring accurate, timely, and reliable distress alert and location data is delivered to search and rescue authorities. Concurrent Efforts NASA led the initial U.S. efforts to develop a national MEOSAR capability, and its search and rescue mis- VLRQ PDQDJHPHQW RIÀFH FRPSOHWHG D SURRI RI FRQFHSW that demonstrated reliable beacon detection within ÀYH PLQXWHV RI DFWLYDWLRQ ,W DOVR VKRZHG WKDW DFFXUDWH locations could be produced after a single burst of a newly activated beacon. Though using only eight of the planned 21 distress alerting satellite system-equipped GPS satellites, per- IRUPDQFH ZDV EHWWHU WKDQ WKH H[LVWLQJ &RVSDV 6DUVDW V\VWHPV DQG SURMHFWLRQV LQGLFDWHG WKDW VLJQLÀFDQW improvement would occur when a full constellation of satellites became available.2 While NASA was conducting the proof of concept, other interagency partners were developing the pro- grammatic documents and operational requirements and beginning the budgetary processes to ensure a transition to an operational system. 7KH UHVXOWDQW DQDO\VLV RI DOWHUQDWLYHV HYDOXDWHG VL[ YLDEOH RSWLRQV &RQWLQXH H[LVWLQJ &RVSDV 6DUVDW /(26$5 VSDFH segment. 2. Integrate SARSAT capability on the Argos data collection system space segment. 3. Implement U.S. MEOSAR space segment with Canadian-provided SAR repeater. ,PSOHPHQW 8 6 0(26$5 VSDFH VHJPHQW ZLWK U.S.-provided SAR repeater. 3ODFH 0+] UHSHDWHU DQG SURFHVVRU RQ VDWHOOLWHV of a commercial system. 5HO\ RQ 6$5 *DOLOHR DQG 6$5 */21$66 IRU space segment.3 At the conclusion of the analysis, option three — implementing a U.S. MEOSAR space segment by put- ting a Canadian-provided payload on the U.S. GPS system — was determined the most cost-effective, low-risk option. Concurrent to this analysis, the interagency partners, led by the Coast Guard, were working though the pro- cess by which civilian payloads are approved as sec- ondary payloads on the GPS system. On September 21, 2009, the distress alerting satellite system (DASS) was formally approved as a secondary payload on GPS III. Subsequent to that decision, the program QRPHQFODWXUH ZDV FKDQJHG WR 6$5 *36 ZKLFK EHW- ter aligned our U.S. MEOSAR program nomenclature with those of our international partners. Where Do We Go From Here? The interagency Sarsat partners are currently work- ing a number of different issues to ensure we can WUDQVLWLRQ WR DQ RSHUDWLRQDO 6$5 *36 V\VWHP 8 6 $LU )RUFH PHPEHUV DUH SXWWLQJ WKH ÀQDO SLHFHV LQ SODFH to approve a memorandum of understanding under ZKLFK WKH &DQDGLDQ JRYHUQPHQW ZLOO SURYLGH WKH 0+] 6$5 *36 UHSHDWHUV IRU LQWHJUDWLRQ RQWR WKH *36 III system. U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Air Force senior leaders KDYH DJUHHG WR D VKDULQJ RI WKH FRVWV DVVRFLDWHG with that integration, and the respective organiza- tions are busy planning, programming, and budget- LQJ WR HQVXUH WKDW EXGJHW DXWKRULW\ H[LVWV WR FRYHU WKRVH FRVWV VWDUWLQJ LQ WKH ÀVFDO \HDU 20 Proceedings Fall 2011 www.uscg.mil/proceedings

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