OTTAWA, April 9 (UPI) -- A global tracking system from Honeywell has passed final acceptance tests for use in the European Space Agency's Galileo search-and-rescue satellite program.
Honeywell said its solution reduces the time it takes for an emergency signal from a distress beacon to be detected and processed -- from several hours to a few minutes.
"Our Medium Earth Orbit-based search-and-rescue solution will lead to faster recovery missions and improved international search-and-rescue operations, and we're pleased to partner with the European Space Agency to help execute on this important, life-saving system," said David Sharratt, general manager, Honeywell Global Tracking.
The Galileo satellite system is a geo-positioning system operated by the ESA and funded by the European Union. The system uses the international Cospas-Sarsat standard for distress alert detection and information distribution in detecting and locating emergency beacons activated by aircraft, ships and remotely located people in distress.
Honeywell said its system detects even faint alerts sent from emergency beacons using a mix of Doppler curves, noise reduction, and advanced signal processing to quickly calculate the exact location of the beacon, which is then sent to relevant mission control centers in the region.
"Up until now, Cospas–Sarsat has relied on satellites in low and high orbits, but medium orbits with satellites such as Galileo are better for search and rescue purposes; they combine a wide field of view with strong Doppler shift, making it more likely a distress signal is pinpointed promptly and accurately," says Fermin Alvarez, ground station and fielding engineer with ESA. "Together with Honeywell, we are encouraged to see Galileo performing so strongly, thereby solidifying our ability to support precise and speedy search and rescue efforts."
Honeywell Global Tracking, part of Honeywell's Scanning and Mobility business, is working in partnership with the Aerospace & Defense division of Capgemini, the prime contractor for the Galileo search and rescue program for use of its system.