A novel approach for the SARSAT system

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1 March 1991

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A novel method for determining the location of a 406-MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT) for the search and rescue satellite aided tracking (SARSAT) system is proposed. The technique uses information from a geostationary satellite (Geosat) link, as well as the conventional polar orbiting satellite links. The method is based on solving a system of equations to determine the range from the ELT to the polar orbiting satellite (Polarsat) for each signal transmitted. Only two pulses need to be received from the ELT in order to obtain a location estimate. The main difference between the procedure outlined and the global positioning system (GPS) is that accurate time information is not available in the transmissions since aircraft and marine vessels seldom have accurate time standards onboard