Singapore to enhance search and rescue capabilities with new satellite technology

Singapore to enhance search and rescue capabilities with new satellite technology

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) have invested in new satellite technology to enhance search and rescue capabilities in Singapore’s maritime and aeronautical Search and Rescue Regions (SRRs).

The Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) system comprises a ground segment as well as a space segment which deploys Medium-altitude Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites.

Distress signals, emitted from the emergency beacons activated by ships, for example, will be received simultaneously by the MEO satellites and relayed back to the ground segment.

The MEOSAR ground system, costing SGD8.4m ($6.2m), will be fully operational in 2018.

Andrew Tan, chief executive of MPA, said: “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.

“This is in line with MPA’s continuous efforts to adopt new technologies to enhance our search and rescue capabilities,” Tan said.

The new MEOSAR system is an improvement to the current Low-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (LEOSAR) system, with access to more satellites and employment of more advanced technologies for faster detection and location of distress parties.  

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