|Equipped To Survive Foundation|
Second 406 MHz GPS Enabled
Emergency Beacon Evaluation
In December 2003 and January 2004 the Equipped To Survive Foundation conducted a series of laboratory and real-world performance tests of 406 MHz Location Protocol (GPS enabled) Emergency (Distress) Beacons (EPIRBs and PLBs) in an effort to determine how these beacons would perform in real-world conditions. This evaluation was primarily concerned with the self-locating performance of these beacons in real-world conditions, as well as other lesser issues, and not the beacons' performance vis-à-vis COSPAS-SARSAT or other regulatory standards, per se. Reading the Summary of the First Report will help put the results of this second report into perspective and is strongly recommended.
In July 2005 the Equipped To Survive Foundation conducted another series of real-world performance tests of 406 MHz Location Protocol (GPS enabled) Emergency (Distress) Beacons (EPIRBs and PLBs). This second evaluation tested McMurdo's beacons that had been upgraded since the first evaluation and a new GPS-enabled PLB from ACR Electronics. Once again, this evaluation was primarily concerned with the self-locating performance of these beacons in real-world conditions.
Both the full 100 page report and a Summary of the Report are available. The full report is 5.7 MB in PDF format, the Summary is standard HTML web pages.
Better Standards Will Make Better Emergency Beacons - Equipped to Survive Foundation's Doug Ritter has been very active working to promote changes in standards to ensure better 406 MHz emergency beacons in the future. Click here to read his Status Report on these efforts and to see how you can help.
Evaluation Limitations and Considerations
Summary of Results
Baseline Results Summary TableBeacon Test Anomalies
Maritime Results Summary Table
Inland Results Summary Table
How the COSPAS-SARSAT System Works
Advantages of Location Protocol ("Self-Locating" or "GPS-enabled") Beacons
How GPS Works and GPS Limitations
Accuracy Limitations of GPS in Location Protocol Beacons
EPIRB vs. PLB - What are the differences?
External vs. Integral GPS - What difference does it make?
The Ultimate Personal Locator Beacon FAQ
What is the Equipped To Survive Foundation?
Who is Doug Ritter?
ETS Foundation Press Release on Publication of Second Beacon Test Report - November 11, 2005
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Executive Director: Doug Ritter
Email: Doug Ritter
First Published: November 11, 2005
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