The first switch-on of a Galileo SAR package functions well and marks a major extension of the space-based Cospas-Sarsat network.
The second pair of Galileo satellites is the first of the constellation to host Search and Rescue (SAR) repeaters which can pickup UHF signals from emergency beacons aboard ships or aircrafts and relay them to local authorities for rescue.
The international SAR system is accountable for saving about 31,000 lives over more than three decades.
Further SAR payloads will follow these first two into orbit with the launches of follow-on Galileo Final Operational Capability satellites.
- Galileo is the name of the European Satellite Navigation programme.
- Cospas is a Russian acronym for ‘Space System for the Search of Vessels in Distress’.
- Sarsat is an acronym for ‘Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking’