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McMurdo Group’s Techno-Sciences, Inc. Chosen for Australia/New Zealand MEOSAR Infrastructure Deployment
|By Business Wire
|September 2, 2014 11:35 AM EDT
Techno-Sciences, Inc. (TSi), a recently acquired company of McMurdo
Group, the end-to-end search and rescue (SAR) and maritime domain
awareness division of Orolia (NYSE Alternext Paris – FR0010501015 –
ALORO), today announced that it has been chosen by the Australia
Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) to
deploy their next-generation satellite-aided search and rescue systems.
The MEOSAR (Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue) installations
will be the first such systems in Asia Pacific and will significantly
reduce the time between a distress beacon activation and the resulting
emergency alert notification from hours to minutes, greatly accelerating
the rescue coordination effort by SAR personnel. As a result, survivors
will be found faster and more lives will be saved.
“Australia and New Zealand have two of the largest SAR regions in the
world, and we are pleased to help them create a more responsive system
for those needing assistance in an emergency,” said Jean-Yves Courtois,
CEO of Orolia and McMurdo Group. "This key win and TSi’s recent
deployment of the only two MEOSAR systems in another major SAR region –
the United States – firmly establish McMurdo Group as the premier MEOSAR
infrastructure provider globally.”
The deal, which exceeds €13 million (approximately $17 million USD),
includes a six-antenna MEOSAR satellite ground station system (MEOLUT)
in each country, a common Mission Control Center (MCC) in Canberra, and
associated support and maintenance. Installation is scheduled to start
in September 2014 and is expected to take 15 months. The installation
phase will be followed by a 10-year maintenance period.
“We are committed to working with AMSA and MNZ to implement a
comprehensive search and rescue solution based on state-of-the-art
technology and supported by best-in-class customer services including
training, consultation and maintenance,” added Jean-Luc Abaziou, CEO of
TSi and head of McMurdo Group’s SAR Infrastructure Business Unit. “This
focus on support will optimize uptime and ensure the safety of
individuals whether in maritime, aviation or outdoor recreation.”
In a typical satellite-based search and rescue scenario, ships, aircraft
or individuals transmit distress signals from an emergency location
beacon via satellite to a fixed ground receiving station, or local user
terminal (LUT). The ground receiving station calculates the location of
the emergency and generates an alert for the appropriate rescue
authorities. Today, the beacon-to-alert process depends on a limited
number of Low-altitude Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and may take several
hours before a position is confirmed. The development and implementation
of MEOSAR will reduce this time to minutes.
“Australia has the second largest number of registered distress beacons
in the world,” said AMSA’s Chief Executive Officer Mick Kinley. “AMSA is
continually looking to take advantage of new technology in its search
and rescue system, and the MEOSAR system will allow us to detect and
respond to beacon activations in a more timely manner. The awarding of
the contract to TSi has been the result of a rigorous tender process,
and AMSA is confident its engagement of TSi will enable AMSA to stay at
the forefront of life-saving technology.”
“The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) has a very
challenging task operating over a vast search and rescue area,” said
Director of Maritime New Zealand Keith Manch. “MEOSAR will provide even
greater confidence for those operating in the region – whether on land,
sea or in the air – that the staff of RCCNZ are supported by the latest
in SAR technological innovation. We are confident in TSi’s abilities to
design, develop and install a MEOSAR system that will be at the center
of our search and rescue operations in years to come.”
TSi, which was acquired by McMurdo Group in May 2014, has been
instrumental in the development of the COSPAS-SARSAT international
satellite-based SAR program, which has helped to save nearly 37,000
lives worldwide since 1982. The company is also actively involved in
MEOSAR, the next-generation COSPAS-SARSAT system, which will greatly
improve the existing SAR process with near-instantaneous detection,
identification and location of emergency distress beacons. TSi installed
the world’s first operationally ready six-channel MEOLUT in 2011 for the
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Hawaii
and earlier this year completed a second NOAA MEOLUT installation in
MEOSAR, currently in its Demonstration and Evaluation phase, is expected
to have Initial Operational Capability in 2016 and Full Operational
Capability by 2018. MEOSAR will use SAR-enhanced Galileo (Europe), GPS
(U.S.) and GLONASS (Russia) satellite constellations for greater global
coverage and includes innovative end-user beacon functionality such as a
return-link service on Galileo satellites to acknowledge distress signal
receipt and provide ongoing rescue effort status.
For more information, visit www.mcmurdogroup.com.
McMurdo Group is a global leader in search and rescue and maritime
domain awareness solutions. A division of Orolia (NYSE Alternext Paris –
FR0010501015 – ALORO), McMurdo Group brings together 140 combined years
of experience by consolidating proven Boatracs, Kannad, McMurdo and
Techno-Sciences, Inc. brands into the industry’s most comprehensive
portfolio of life-saving and tracking technologies that save time, costs
and lives. Airbus, Boeing, the British Royal Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard,
NASA and others are among the hundreds of aviation, maritime, government
and military customers around the world using McMurdo Group distress
beacons, satellite connectivity infrastructure, monitoring/positioning
software and emergency response management solutions. Established in
January 2014, McMurdo Group is based in Sophia Antipolis, France, and
has additional offices in France (Guidel), the U.S. (San Diego,
Washington D.C.) and the U.K. (Portsmouth).
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