ACR ARTEX

The Science Of Survival


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Introducing the New ARTEX ELT 1000 Emergency Locator Transmitter with Built-In GPS Navigational Interface

Fort Lauderdale, FL – ACR Electronics, Inc. announces today that the all-new ELT 1000 (Emergency Locator Transmitter) has received its Cospas-Sarsat and FAA approvals and is now available for sale. The ARTEX ELT 1000 is competitively priced and designed with multiple installation configurations to reduce overall installation cost.

The state of the art electronics maximize frequency stability and power while incorporating a new, built-in GPS navigational interface. Including GPS data in the emergency transmission allows Search and Rescue personnel to know your location within 100 meters in less than a minute. Designed to accommodate multiple installation configurations, the new ELT 1000 is a quick, easy and affordable retrofit for obsolete 121.5 MHz ELTs.

ELT100_ISO_2Built under the exacting standards of AS9100C quality certification, the ELT 1000 exceeds all government and regulatory standards including the latest FAA guidelines with its new robust stainless steel mounting strap.

The ARTEX ELT 1000 features and specifications are listed below:

  • Quick and easy retrofit for general aviation aircraft
  • Single antenna output for emergency transmission on both 406 MHz (Cospas-Sarsat) and 121.5 MHz frequencies (local Search & Rescue)
  • Enhanced positional accuracy with a built-in GPS interface that does not require aircraft power
  • Encoded digital message broadcasts aircraft identification/registration and owner/emergency contact details
  • New stainless steel mounting strap for increased stability that complies with the most current FAA guidelines
  • Simple self-testing from the cockpit. When combined with 406Test.com, the self-test will provide SMS/e-mail confirmation within seconds that the ELT signal reached the satellites successfully
  • New hermetically sealed G-Switch for increased reliability

ARTEX designs and manufactures an array of ELT’s, battery packs and ELT accessories. ARTEX products serve a wide category of aircrafts ranging from general aviation to the world’s leading airframe manufacturers, large commercial airlines and government aircraft.


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Len & Lisa, ACR Survivors Use TWO Beacons for TWO Different Rescues

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ACR Electronics shares a first: within just six months a SurvivorClub replacement Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) saves a crew of three and their dog from the raging seas of the North Atlantic.

Just this past October, and without warning, Len and Lisa Rorke’s sailboat rudder broke and drifted away leaving the sailboat without any means of steering, forcing Len to activate their EPIRB. Their ACR GlobalFix iPRO EPIRB signal was received by the USCG who coordinated their rescue with a local fishing trawler which was 20 miles away. The good Samaritans aboard the trawler pulled the Rorkes, and their Jack Russell Terrier, Dexter, up on board and took them back to safety.

To everyone’s shock and disbelief not even six months later, lightning struck again. This time the couple, Dexter and a crew mate Henri Worthalter were 13 days into crossing the Atlantic Ocean, from the Turks and Caicos Islands, heading to the Mediterranean via The Azores. Their journey ended with two days of gale force winds and high seas which broke the rudder and aft bulkhead on their sailboat,The Blue Pearl. “We were 950 nautical miles from the Azores (about halfway between the Azores and Bermuda), and could not have been further from land if we tried. We had been battling heavy weather for a week and the last two days of storms battered our boat so badly that it sank right in the middle of the North Atlantic in huge seas, strong winds and in the dead of night”, stated Len, Captain of The Blue Pearl.

ImageForced into a life raft 900 miles north of Bermuda, the couple watched as their home sank before their eyes.  As fate would have it, their new EPIRB given to them just months before by ACR Electronics as part of the SurvivorClub program was put to proper use.  They activated the EPIRB once they got into their life raft and within minutes the EPIRB sent the USCG the exact location of the displaced crew.

The USCG District Command Center located two ships to help with the rescue the Tilda Kosan, a 351′ tanker, which was 32 nautical miles to the south of their position and an automated mutual-assistance vessel rescue ship (AMVER). The tanker reported they were six hours away from the EPIRB’s location and would divert off course to assist the distressed mariners. Around 12:30 a.m. the tanker located the life raft with Len, Lisa, Henri and Dexter whom the USCG previously identified.

Clearly relieved, Len said “We were extremely lucky to have survived but that luck came because we did everything right and without a question because we had properly registered our EPIRB, once again, with the US Coast Guard.”

Rescued, recovered but now homeless, the Rorkes are in good and grateful spirits despite watching their sailboat, their home just drop to the bottom of the ocean.  Their crewmate, Henri returned home to Europe but the Rorkes and Dexter were transported to Bermuda and then flown into South Florida. Currently they are residing at a good Samaritan’s home in Jupiter, FL while regrouping and raising money to join their family in the United Kingdom.

To read both of the Rorke’s survival stories please visit SurvivorClub.com.

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Cautionary advice when buying beacons and survival gear online

5 quick buying tips NOT to miss

when buying a beacon from an online auction or personal on line listing!

  1. Know what beacon is right for the type of activity you enjoy doing. Read the guide below. (Boaters = EPIRB, Pilots = ELT, etc.)
  2. Find out if the beacon is Brand New and Unregistered or Used (Registered to previous owner).  If the beacon is used and has been previously registered, the current owner will need to contact NOAA (in the USA) and notify them to cancel their registration so that the new owner can properly register it.
  3. If you are buying and EPIRB, Personal Locator Beacon or ELT that has a dedicated Lithium battery, ask for the battery expiration date.  Know how many years are remaining on the battery before you buy it.
  4. Ask the seller for the country code in which the beacon is programmed.  If the beacon is programmed for the United States and you live in Australia or a country other than the United States, your beacon will need to be reprogrammed for your country (a reprogramming fee will apply) before you can register it.
  5. Have a question?? – Contact the manufacturer before you purchase.

Understanding the Difference between Safety/Signaling and Survival Beacons

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) – For BoatersACR GlobalFix iPRO EPIRB with built in GPS, GPS Interface and Digital Display
An EPIRB is a critical piece of last-resort lifesaving gear on your boat when you are out of range of a VHF radio, smartphone or other means of communication. EPIRBs are small radio transmitters, connected to a global government-run satellite network (Cospas-Sarsat), which is used worldwide to alert Search and Rescue agencies in the event of a dire emergency. Used only when all other means of rescue or communication have failed, these emergency beacons can be activated if your boat is in danger of sinking, or if you have a life-threatening accident or medical emergency.

EPIRBs are required to activate and transmit when they are removed from their brackets and immersed in water or manually activated in/out of the bracket. Category I brackets will automatically deploy the beacon when submerged between 3′ and 14′, while Category II brackets need to have the beacon released manually.

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) – For any outdoor enthusiastACR ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon with built in GPS
Personal Locator Beacons, which use the same frequency and technology as an EPIRB, can be carried with you just about anywhere. They provide the same worldwide coverage as EPIRBs, and can rescue hunters, hikers, kayakers, climbers, pilots, boaters and most any outdoor enthusiast. PLBs are different from EPIRBs in some important ways. Their battery life (24hr. minimum transmit time) is often half that of an EPIRB. PLBs are not required to float or have a strobe light (but many do), and are manually deployed and activated. Like 406 MHz EPIRBs, PLBs have an additional 121.5MHz homing signal to help planes, helicopters and other searchers find you.

Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELTs) – For AircraftARTEX ME406 Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)
An Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) is an aircraft distress beacon that can be manually or automatically activated to transmit a 406 MHz emergency signal to the Cospas-Sarsat satellite system. ELTs that activate automatically use a “G-Switch” (gravity switch) that triggers the ELT when it senses that a crash has occurred. With ELTs, Search and Rescue teams may more easily pin-point the exact location of a downed aircraft. Section 91.207 of the Federal Aviation Regulations states that no person, as well as Part 121 operators and operations governed by Part 135, may operate a U.S. registered civil aircraft unless an approved automatic type emergency locator transmitter is attached to the aircraft. Similar regulations are established by aviation authorities throughout the world.

As of 2009, traditional 121.5 MHz ELTs are no longer monitored by satellite. The system has been replaced by a far more powerful and robust system operating on 406 MHz. When you upgrade your ELT to 406 MHz, you will have peace of mind knowing you can be found quickly in the event of an emergency or unplanned landing. If your aircraft currently has an older 121.5 MHz ELT it’s still important to have an upgraded 406 MHz ELT that can automatically transmit a distress signal with your location. Without upgrading your ELT, it can take days or sometimes weeks to locate a crash scene. Upgrading your ELT means rescuers will know within minutes that you’re in distress, who you are, and exactly where you’re located. This will drastically increase your chances of survival.

Why a 406 MHz Beacon is Your Best Last Chance

The biggest difference between an EPIRB/Personal Locator Beacon/ELT and other signaling devices is the built in redundancy required by Search and Rescue agencies to be included inside 406 MHz beacons before they can be approved for sale.
Main Frequency: 406 MHz, this dedicated Search and Rescue frequency is transmitted to the Cospas-Sarsat Satellites with your beacons Unique Identification Number which links you and your beacon together (if properly registered).
GPS: beacons with a built in GPS provide the exact search radius
121.5 MHz homing frequency: provides Search and Rescue forces with another tool to home in on your exact location.

Additional Benefits: 406 MHz beacons are regulated and approved worldwide by the Search and Rescue community before they can ever be offered for sale. These very strict regulations require an independent test lab to validate that the beacons meet the stringent requirements. These distress beacons are a directly link to Search and Rescue forces worldwide, there is no monthly subscription fees, no cost for activating and being rescued and no third party call center required to forward your distress signal onto the appropriate Search and Rescue Agencies.

Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (SEND) – For outdoor enthusiast
This is a relatively new category of distress beacons that have just hit the market in the past few years. While they have some very popular features, it is important to understand some of their limitations when it comes to Search and Rescue. The main thing to know is the lack of redundancy, most SEND devices rely solely on having a GPS position to transmit your position. If the device is unable to acquire your GPS coordinates because of heavy tree canopy or severe weather, Search and Rescue will not know where to look for you until the beacon is able to provide this information. SEND Devices also use commercial satellites such as iridium or GlobalStar, this requires an annual subscription to use. Forget to renew your subscription and your beacon will not transmit your emergency distress signal. Finally, because these are commercial satellites, the distress signal is first received by a third party call center who then must forward it on to Search and Rescue forces and be able to provide them with all of your vital information.

Understanding the Pro’s and Con’s of different Survival Communication Devices

Product Type Benefits Limitations
EPIRBs
  • Direct link to Search and Rescue forces world wide
  • No subscription fees
  • Built-in Redundancy
  •  406 MHz
  • GPS (Optional)
  • 121.5 Homing
    Limited non-emergency communications (Only ACR beacons can transmit a message through the        satellites to cell phones/email using their 406Link.com optional subscription).
Personal Locator Beacons
  • Direct link to Search and Rescue forces world wide
  • No subscription fees
  • Built-in Redundancy
  • 406 MHz
  • GPS (Optional)
  • 121.5 Homing
  • Limited non-emergency communications (Only ACR beacons can transmit a message through the        satellites to cell phones/email using their 406Link.com optional subscription).
Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT)
  • Direct link to Search and Rescue forces world wide
  • No subscription fees
  • Built-in Redundancy
  • 406 MHz
  • GPS (Optional)
  • 121.5 Homing
  • Limited non-emergency communications (Only ARTEX ELTs can transmit a message through the        satellites to cell phones/email using their 406Link.com optional subscription).
Cell Phones
  • Most people commonly have on them at all times
  • Dead Battery when you need it the most
  • Limited Coverage
  • Not Rugged or Waterproof
  • They rely on you to tell Search and Rescue where you are
Satellite Phones
  • Voice communication outside of standard cell phone ranges
  • Dead Battery when you need it the most.
  • Poor satellite reception
  • Costly subscription fees
  • Not Rugged or Waterproof
  • They rely on you to tell Search and Rescue where you are.
SEND Devices (SPOT, InReach)
  • Non-Emergency Communications
  • Tracking
  • SOS functions
  • Weak frequency
  • Low Power
  • No Redundancy
  • Costly subscription fees
  • Commercial satellites
  • 3rd party call centers
GPS Receivers
  • Tracking
  • Tells you where you are
  • GPS receivers tell You where you are, not Search and Rescue
  • Low Power Level
  • Poor Satellite Reception

How to register

You may register by visiting the SARSAT Beacon Registration page.

There is no charge for this service. IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE.

For more information see the NOAA SARSAT Homepage.


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A Boaters Guide To EPIRBs

Boaters-Guide-to-EPIRB
How an EPIRB Works.
An EPIRB or Emergency Position Indicating Radion Beacon, is a distress beacon used by mariners worldwide to alert Search and Rescue (SAR) forces that they are in distress. EPIRBs transmit a 406 MHz distress signal that contains a unique 15 digit identification number to the Cospas-Sarsat Satellite System (which is a government run system so there are no subscription fees). Search and Rescue forces then pull up your beacon registration (mandatory of all EPIRB owners) which tells them who the beacon belongs to as well as provides additional emerency contact information.

EPIRBs provide Search and Rescue forces with your location either via GPS data if your EPIRB is equipped with a GPS receiver, or via triangulation from the low earth orbiting satellites. This positional data is provided to the Rescue Coordination Center closest to your location. They in turn embark on your rescue mission and use the EPIRBs 121.5 MHz homing signal to ultimately pin-point your location and bring you home safetly.

Learn everything you need to know about EPIRBs in our Boaters Guide to EPIRBs (PDF).

Worldwide Registration
You are required to register your EPIRB with your local authority. If you purchase a new or used 406 MHz beacon, you MUST register it with your local government. If you change any information on your registration (such as phone number, address, bought a new boat, etc.) you MUST update the 406 MHz beacon registration. Also, if you sell your 406 MHz beacon, notify your local government that you have done so, and make sure the buyer registers the beacon personally. Otherwise, you may be contacted by rescue authorities if it is activated! Please provide the new owner a link to our registration web page so he/she can register thier beacon. Visit our Registration Data for more information about your countrys registration requirements.

EPIRB Brackets
EPIRBs come in 1 of 2 different brackets. A Category 1 bracket is an automatically deployment bracket, while a Category 2 bracket is a manual deployment only bracket.

EPIRBs have different categories which define which type of bracket the EPIRB uses Cat. 1 Cat.2
Bracket automatically deployes EPIRB when vessel sinks Yes No
Contains a Hydrostatic Release Unit (HRU) Yes No
Built-in deactivation water sensor to prevent false alarms Yes Yes
Manual activation of beacon while in bracket Yes Yes
Protects EPIRB from UV exposure Yes No

The Category I bracket is designed to release an EPIRB when the Hydrostatic Release Unit (HRU) in the bracket is submerged in water to a depth of 4 to 14 feet (1.5 – 4m). The regulation specifies a range of depth for deployment to allow for different water temperatures which will affect the release depth. The Hydrostatic Release Unit needs to be replaced every two years.

In an emergency, the EPIRB will release from its bracket, float to the surface and alert search and rescue that you need help fast.

EPIRBs in a Category II bracket need to be manually deployed and activated. They can be mounted above or below deck, in a location that is protected from outside influences (i.e. green water, traffic impacts, cabin doors, etc). Some people prefer to keep their beacon in a Ditchbag without the bracket which is ok if the bag is going to be in a dry spot on the boat.

The Benefits of upgrading to a GPS EPIRB
An EPIRB with a GPS interface or internal GPS greatly reduces the search radius down to 100 meters (110 yards) but also significantly reduces the notification time from less than 1 hour down to 1 minute.

The Cospas-Sarsat satellite system uses 2 dierent satellites. The GEOSAR satellites are stationary over the equator, if your beacon has GPS coordinates, these satellites instantly alert Search and Rescue of your position in as little as 2-3 minutes.

The LEOSAR satellites are low earth orbiting and typically ever hour one flies over your location. These satellites use Doppler shift principles to calculate your position to send to Search and Rescue. However, the notifcation time can be typically less than1 hour while you wait for one to orbit over you.


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ACR EPIRB Onboard HMS Bounty Outlives 48 Hour Specs

 

The following article appears courtesy of Ocean Navigator

“HMS Bounty EPIRB Outlives 48 Hour Specs”

By Tim Queeny

The ACR Satellite 2 406 EPIRB that was turned on at 9 pm on Sunday night by the crew of the tall ship Bounty was reportedly not recovered during the rescue operation. And at the time of this writing the EPIRB is floating in the Atlantic, still transmitting. The unit has outlived its Coast Guard 48 hour at -4° F specification for operation. This is perhaps one positive outcome of theBounty sinking: that you can trust an EPIRB (with a charged battery) to do its job of bringing rescuers to your position.

According to Mikele D’Arcangelo, Marketing Manager for ACR Electronics, Inc. and ARTEX, ACR aims for its products to outperform government specs. “ACR Electronics is in the business of saving lives and we are exacting, obsessive, serious and accurate in the engineering and manufacture of our products,” D’Arcangelo said. “We design our products to outperform any regulation set for us by government agencies.”

Additional Reporting:

“Coast Guard Rescues 14 During Hurricane Sandy”

The Coast Guard Compass, the official blog of the U.S. Coast Guard

“Technology Speeds Rescue at Sea”

WWAY News Channel 3


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Movie Prop HMS Bounty Sinks During Hurricane, 14 Crew Rescued

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 14 of 16 crew members from a replica of the HMS Bounty on Monday after receiving a distress signal from the ship’s EPIRB, which was activated after the vessel began taking on water in rough seas 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, North Carolina. The ship eventually sank and one of the missing was found but could not be revived. The Bounty’s captain is still missing.


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USCG Swimmer Wins Prestigious Award for Rescue at Sea

The Association for Rescue at Sea, Inc. (AFRAS) will hold its annual awards ceremony and reception on 4 October 2012 on Capitol Hill.

The event will be co-hosted by the Honorable Howard Coble, co-chairman, U.S. Congressional Coast Guard Caucus. AFRAS will award the Gold Medal, the Silver Medal and the Amver (Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System) plaque for outstanding rescues made in 2011.

The Gold Medal and a cash prize will be presented to Randall J. Rice, Chief Warrant Officer, US Coast Guard; the Silver Medal and a cash prize will be awarded to the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Facility 25371 and the Amver plaque will go to the Captain and crew of M/V Oleander.

Chief Warrant Officer Randall J. Rice of US Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod will receive the prestigious AFRAS Gold Medal for his heroic life-saving actions on 10 May 2011 while serving as rescue swimmer aboard Coast Guard Helicopter CG6004.

At approximately noon, Rice and his crew launched from Air Station Cape Cod in response to a distress call received from the 45-foot sailing vessel EVA, located 150 nautical miles southeast of Cape Cod. Pounding seas and gale force winds had ripped the mast off the vessel and shattered the windows endangering the lives of the crew. The surrounding waters and deck were littered with sails, lines and debris.

Arriving at an updated position relayed from a concurrently launched HU-25 Aircraft, and unable to establish communications with the vessel, Rice and his crew conducted a search to locate S/V EVA in the tossing 20-30 foot waves. Rice eventually spotted the vessel and vectored the pilot into position.

The aircraft commander initially made the decision not to deploy the rescue swimmer due to numerous hazards in the water, but after further assessment it was determined that deployment was required in order to save the two crewmen – one having sustained a back injury.

Chief Warrant Officer Rice entered the water, maneuvered through the 30-foot swells and debris to the vessel and climbed aboard. He quickly cleared the deck of rubble and prepared for two basket hoists of the crew. He meticulously executed each hoist from the deck of EVA as the thrashing waves and raging winds battered the vessel. His swift actions were instrumental in the saving of two lives.

The Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) is a non-profit foundation with charitable status, which supports services concerned with saving lives at sea. Other awards to be presented at the ceremony include the Silver Medal, and the AFRAS AMVER Award.