The EU Helios project has announced the availability of the first Galileo-enabled personal location beacons (PLB).
Helios and its coordinator, Orolia, have announced the launch in Europe and the US of an upgrade to the McMurdo FastFind 220 and Kannad SafeLink Solo PLBs to include Galileo GNSS.
The PLBs are the World’s first to utilise Galileo’s capabilities and are also the first in a series of new solutions coming from the EU Helios project. The launch follows approval from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the use of Galileo signals within US territory.
Galileo satellites make up part of the Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) system - the next generation of the Cospas-Sarsat international SAR satellite system that has helped to save over 43,000 lives since 1982.
There are currently 24 Galileo satellites carrying a SAR payload; there should be 30 by the declaration of Full Operational Capability (FOC), scheduled for 2020.