For more than 50 years, ACR rescue products have been the choice of the U.S. military, Coast Guard, NATO and Arctic Explorers. ACR is the leading manufacturer of PLBs and EPIRBs in the world, they understand that professional grade safety products don't just happen, which is why they have such a dedicated commitment to innovative engineering, state-of-the-art manufacturing and relentless testing. Because of this commitment, many mariners, aviators and outdoor enthusiasts refer to ACR products as their "best last chance" for survival.
ACR manufactures a full range of products for the marine market, including:
- Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs)
- Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)
- Emergency VHF Radios
- Man Overboard Lights
- Emergency Life Jackets
- Automatic Identification System (AIS)
- Search And Rescue Transponders (SART)
The latest in EPIRB technology, GlobalFix iPRO, includes unique Dual GPS Technology (both an internal and external system) and a digital display to provide the user with a variety of important information during operation and during self test. The GlobalFix iPRO is smaller, lighter and offers high efficiency electronics.
PLB and EPIRB Requirements
Just like EPIRBs, PLBs must be submitted to independent testing labs in order to verify the frequency, operating life, and for testing in extreme conditions, temperatures and enviroments. When they have finished and passed testing at these independent facilities they must go onto Cospas-Sarsat, USCG and the FCC for approval to certify that the EPIRB/PLB meets the standads for Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) and that it exceeds the required operating and mechnanical conditions that will appear in the marine environment.
ACR offers a full product line of personal safety and searchlights. Their line of Firefly lights offer the option of strobe lighting for visibility at great distances or a steady incandescent light for close-up recovery work. This line of multi-function lights are ideal for life vests, safety harnesses, float coats, work and immersion suits.
The Cospas-Sarsat Search & Rescue System
1. Distressed mariner activates beacon (EPIRB, PLB).
2. Beacon transmits a 406 MHz emergency message containing you Unique Identifier Number (UIN) to the LEAOSAR (polor orbiting) and GEOSAR (gestationary) satellite systems.
3. Beacon transmits a 406 MHz emergency message to a ground station (Local User Terminal LUT). The LUT then calculates the location of te signal by measuring the Doppler shift caused by the relative movement between the satellite and the beacon and forwards the location to the Mission Control Center (MCC).
4. The MCC continues to recieve information from additional satellite passes and further refines the beacon position (a 2.3 nm search radius). An alert message is generated that is combined with the registration information from the database and is forwarded to the appropriate Rescue Coordination Center (RCC).
5. The RCC makes contact with the persons listed in the database to verify the existance of an emergency and gathers additional information about the beacon users. The RCC will dispatch the closest, capable Search and Rescue (SAR) forces.
6. Local SAR forces launch a rescue mission and ue the 121.5 MHz homing signal to pinpoint the beacon.
*On average, steps 2-5 take about 1 hours.
What do EPIRBs and PLBs do?
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are distress radio beacons which help locate ships and individuals that are in grave and imminent danger.
An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is a beacon that, upon activation, sends a distress signal to a dedicated life saving satellite system. The signal, which includes the beacon's unique identity number, is then routed to the proper authorities for a response.
Is there a subscription fee for beacon registration or rescue service?
No. Beacon registration is free, and, should you ever have to activate your beacon, rescue is free in most parts of the world.
When do you use a PLB or EPIRB?
Most Search-and-Rescue (SAR) organizations instruct that both PLBs and EPIRBs "...are satellite signaling devices of last resort, for use when all other means of self-rescue have been exhausted, where the situation is grave with imminent danger and the loss of life, limb, eyesight or valuable property will occur without assistance."
Can ACR beacons be used anywhere in the world?
Yes. ACR beacons can be used anywhere in the world, including the Poles.