SAT406M - Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) by Mobit

SAT406M is a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) in form of a wrist watch, enabling the Return-Link Service (RLS), for outdoor use by persons in distress.

When activated, the SAT406M signal is relayed by the Cospas-Sarsat satellites: GPS, Galileo, Glonass, to ground stations: MEOLUTs, around the world, where the position of the PLB is determined, either using GNSS or independently.  

Then, the SAR/Galileo system generates an acknowledgement, transmitted via the Galileo downstream, which SAT406M detects and indicates the PLB user about, what is not only encouraging, but also helps the person in distress to effectively consider his/her actions.

Furthermore, SAT406M, and MEOLUT-Next (by TAS), employ the SINSIN method, enabling enhanced localization, particularly effective in terrestrial Search and Rescue. 




Thales Alenia Space already contributes to the COSPAS/SARSAT system as exclusive supplier of digital signal processors (DSP) on LEOSAR satellites since the 1990s. Today, Thales Alenia Space is offering a brand-new solution concerning the Local User Terminals (LUT). These terminals are in charge of processing the signals received from the satellites and calculating the position of the beacon, then sending it to the Mission Control Center.

The principle of Thales Alenia Space's solution is to use two small active antennas, each comprising 64 patches. These antennas are fitted with a high-performance RF (radio frequency) unit, for upstream digitizing of the signal, followed by a highly innovative algorithmic processing method.

Conventional MEOLUT systems, each fitted with six large parabolic antennas in an area about the size of a football field (or pitch…), are capable of tracking signals from six satellites (1 per antenna). Thales Alenia Space's MEOLUT NEXT solution, with its two small antennas located in less than 10 square meters, tracks up to 30 satellites, thus significantly enhancing the distress beacon detection rate, while also expanding the coverage zone. Furthermore, since there are no mechanical components in these antennas, maintenance costs are the lowest on the market.

Initiated with support from French space agency CNES, this project was first validated from the technical standpoint, and now allows Thales Alenia Space to offer a production version. The MEOLUT NEXT solution from Thales Alenia Space boosts both precision and performance, and is easier to deploy and maintain, meaning that it will undoubtedly improve the COSPAS/SARSAT global system's performance.



TESEO III - GNSS Receiver by STMicroelectronics

STA8089/90 Teseo III GNSS receiver is a highly integrated single-chip standalone GNSS receiver designed for positioning system applications (developed with the support of the FP7 HIMALAYA project). It embeds a GNSS positioning engine capable of receiving signal from multiple satellite navigation systems in E1/L1 band ensemble, including the US GPS, European Galileo, Russia's GLONASS, Chinese BeiDou and Japan's QZSS.

The Teseo III ability of tracking simultaneously the signals from multiple satellites regardless of their constellation (48 tracking channels), make this chip capable of delivering exceptional accuracy in harsh environment (such as urban canyons, where buildings and other obstructions make satellite visibility challenging).

The Teseo III combines a high performance ARM946 microprocessor with Input-Output (I/O) capabilities and enhanced peripherals. It supports USB2.0 standard at full speed (12 Mbps) with on-chip physical layer (PHY).

The device is provided with a complete firmware performing all positioning operations including acquisition, tracking, navigation and data output with no need of external memories.

Amongst the supported interfaces and peripherals the proposed to be used as main interface for position and measurements exchange is the UART and the proposed format for the communication is the based on NMEA standard. The detailed protocol description and the used data structures can be found in the STMicroelectronics web site.