Singapore beefs up search, rescue capabilities with new satellite technology

Singapore beefs up search, rescue capabilities with new satellite technology

SINGAPORE: Singapore's sea and air search and rescue capabilities have been enhanced with its investment in a new medium-altitude earth orbit search and rescue (MEOSAR) ground system, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in a statement on Monday (Jul 24).

The system comprises both ground and space segments which deploy medium-altitude Earth orbit (MEO) satellites. Using this system, distress signals emitted from emergency beacons activated by aircraft, ships or people in distress will be received simultaneously by the MEO satellites and relayed back to the ground segment.

The statement said the new MEOSAR ground system, which costs S$8.4 million, is an improvement to the current low-altitude Earth orbit search and rescue (LEOSAR) ground system as it allows access to more satellites and uses more advanced technologies to enhance position accuracy for faster detection and location of distress parties. It will be fully operational in 2018.

CAAS director-general Kevin Shum said the "acquisition of the improved space-based system ... will complement our equipment and resources to provide faster, more accurate and reliable data to locate persons in distress".

MPA chief executive Andrew Tan added: “In any search and rescue mission, time is of the essence. The new MEOSAR system will allow us to detect and locate the distress party more accurately for the expeditious deployment of assets to save lives.”

Source: CNA/jp