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EPIRB / PLB Location Beacons

Who needs a PLB?

PLB SA2G
Anyone involved in adventure sports or activities

Flying, Cycling, Motor Cycling, 4WD enthusiasts, Fishing, Paragliding, Bush Walking, Remote Area Workers, Researchers - the list is almost endless. pretty much anyone off the beaten track!


Who needs an EPIRB?

EPIRB SA1G If you are flying or sailing off the coast you need to take an EPIRB along. This may be your final call for help.

The KTi Beacons, both PLB and EPIRB exceed all government requirements, operate on the COSPAS / SARSAT 406 Mhz band and transmit a 121.5 Mhz signal for homing. The built in GPS has 66 channels making start up almost instant and an accuracy as close as 1.8M. Add a strobe and these units will help you be located in the fastest possible time.


How does an EPIRB / PLB work?


You activate your device and it immediately starts transmitting on 406Mhz and 121.5 Mhz. The 406 Mhz signal is used to send the position from the built in 66 channel GPS to the COPAS / SARSAT satellites circling the earth. A unique identifier is also sent, identifying your EPIRB / PLB to the search and rescue authorities It doesn't matter if you are travelling by land, sea or air, or where you are on the planet.

The COSPAS / SARSAT satellites will also use "Doppler shift" to determine your position. The signal is considered resolved when two Doppler tracks match, or the GPS position matches one Doppler track.

The satellites used are weather satellites and others (some of which are circling the earth, others are geostationary) and using these satellites to "piggy back" the COSPAS / SARSAT functionality mean more satellites can be part of the system at a reduced cost. You can't be out of sight of satellites for more than two hours anywhere in the world! Average detection times and position resolution are 46 minutes.

If the satellite is in view of the beacon and an earth station called a LUT the satellite will send the beacon information through almost immediately. If no LUT is visible the satellite will store the information until it can send the information down to the next LUT that is visible.

To date more than 28,000 people have been rescued thanks to EPIRB and PLB technology. To get the most out of your beacon it is important to register your PLB or EPIRB. This registers the unique "HEX" code with the authorities assisting in identifying who is in distress and notifying kin.

Information on Beacon Registration: Australian Registration International Registration

The low powered 121.5 Mhz beacon is used to home in on the "last mile" of the search. Commercial and military aircraft, including helipters carry receivers to pick up these beacons.

Other "last mile" location methods include the use of signalling mirrors, whistles and flares if available.