INSAT-3A takes over satellite-aided search and rescue services

MUMBAI: ISRO's latest satellite INSAT-3A, which was launched on 10 April has taken over the Satellite Aided Search and Rescue services that were being provided by INSAT-2B so far. INSAT-2B, which was launched a decade ago has outlived its design life.



An official release informs that INSAT-3A is the only geostationary satellite at present, which is providing Geostationary Orbit Satellite Aided Search and Rescue services (GEOSAR) in this part of the globe, covering Europe to Australia in the Indian Ocean and the Australian regions. Two American satellites, GOES(W) and GOES(E) provide these services on the western hemisphere.

Satellite Aided Search and Rescue service is provided under the international COSPAS-SARSAT system that provides location information of the distress signals transmitted by beacons mounted on board ships, aircraft or those carried by individuals. The GEOSAR transponder on INSAT-3A complements the Low Earth Orbit COSPAS-SARSAT satellites in receiving the distress signal transmission and its detection.

The ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) operates two ground stations to receive and process the distress signals detected by Low Earth Orbit COSPAS-SARSAT spacecraft besides a ground station capable of receiving and processing distress signals detected by the GEOSAR transponder of INSAT spacecraft in the geostationary orbit. The Mission Control Centre is located at Bangalore.

The location and other details of the beacon, transmitting the distress signals, are determined instantaneously and informed to rescue coordination centres for carrying out search and rescue operations of the affected ship, aircraft or individuals.

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