The Cospas-Sarsat System provides alerting services for the following types of beacons:
- Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) for aviation use
- Emergency Position-Indicating Radiobeacons (EPIRBs) for maritime use
- Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)
- Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) Beacons
Only beacons operating at 406 MHz are compatible with the Cospas-Sarsat System.
Assistance in selecting a 406 MHz beacon and beacon message protocol is provided in the selection and coding tutorial. An interactive description of the coding of 406 MHz beacons is provided in the beacon coding guidelines.
The information provided in this portion of the web site is intended to amplify the information provided in the following Cospas-Sarsat System documents:
- C/S T.001 "Specification for Cospas-Sarsat 406 MHz Distress Beacons";
- C/S T.015 "Cospas-Sarsat Specification and Type Approval Standard for 406 MHz Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) Beacons";
- C/S S.007 "Handbook of Beacon Regulations"; and
- C/S G.005 "Cospas-Sarsat Guidelines on 406 MHz Beacon Coding, Registration, and Type Approval".
The above documents can be downloaded free of charge from this web site, following the links at the top of this page. If the information provided on the web site conflicts with that provided in documents C/S T.001, T.015 and G.005, the official documents take precedence.
Furthermore, individual administrations may have additional national beacon technical and coding requirements that are not addressed in the above documents.
*Note: Cospas-Sarsat type approval is contingent on the use of original equipment battery packs in a beacon. Therefore, Cospas-Sarsat recommends that beacon owners always use original equipment battery packs which have been approved as a part of the original Cospas-Sarsat beacon approval and as provided either by a beacon manufacturer or one of their approved service centres. Certain aftermarket replacement battery packs that are not approved by the beacon manufacturer have been shown to be of inferior quality and may result in safety risk and/or the failure of the beacon to function properly in a distress situation.