Coast Guard to Recieve Two Satellites, Launch Expected This Year

Cube shaped satellite, 100mm (3.9″) on a side. This photo shows the Norwegian student satellite NCUBE2 ready for shipment to the Netherlands for integration with the ESA student satellite SSETI-Express, photographer, Bjørn Pedersen, NTNU.

National Defense is reporting that the Air Force is building two “Polar Scout” SAR satellites for the Coast Guard, expected to be launched this year.

An earlier post referenced a Acquisitions Directorate report on this R&D Center project.

These satellites, or “cubesats,” are capable of detecting transmissions from emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs), which are carried on board vessels to broadcast their position if in distress. The Coast Guard will deploy the cubesats in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s Polar Scout program, the Air Force Operationally Responsive Space Office, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

These two satellites will only provide intermittent coverage of EPIRB signals from the polar regions so more satellites may follow.

This appears to be first fruit of a growing cooperation between the Coast Guard’s R&D Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory which has been formalized by a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the heads of the two organization on April 12, 2018.

 

Japan Coast Guard expands Liquid-Robotics’ Wave Glider Fleet–NavyRecognition

We have discussed the Liquid Robotics Wave Glider before, as a way to improve Maritime Domain Awareness, noting it is being used by the Brits for fisheries monitoring and by Boeing in support of the US Navy.

Now NavyRecognition brings us a report that the Japanese are using it to monitor the environment providing real time information

Certainly better information about surface currents could help us in search planning.

19th Century SAR on the Outer Banks

A friend, Lee W., sent me some information on Pea Island and the Life Saving Service on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. More travel log than an organized post, but hope you find it interesting, as I did. 

Oregon Inlet.  The surge under the old bridge and through the inlet was wicked!

They tore the old high bridge down and built a combination causeway and bridge on the sound side. See below.  The Station house that used to be on the spit of land to right. Now it has been restored at the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge.

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Here is more about the Pea Island Life Saving Station & crew

In 1880 Captain Richard Etheridge, a former slave and Civil War veteran, was appointed as keeper of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station, 30 miles north of Cape Hatteras.

http://afscmecouncil8.org/richard-etheridge-and-the-pea-island-lifesavers/

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Book: Fire on the Beach – Richard Etheridge “A Man among the Men”

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Benjamin Bowser, Jr., who served with the United States Life-Saving Service at the Pea Island Life-Saving Station from 1884 until his death in 1900 honored in a ceremony

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USCG photo. World War I Pea Island surfman

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Pea Island LSS cook house reconstructed in Manteo

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Map of the US LSS stations

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Map by Mark Anderson Moore, courtesy North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh

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Sumner I. Kimball, Superintendent of the US Life-Saving Service 1871-1915.

The Midgett and Etheridge families are still on the Outer Banks

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USCGC Richard Ehteridge  WPC-1102

Coast Guard Space Program

Photo: This photo shows the Norwegian student satellite NCUBE2 ready for shipment to the Netherlands for integration with the ESA student satellite SSETI-Express, photographer, Bjørn Pedersen, NTNU.

Acquisitions Directorate reports that the Coast Guard is planning to have two satellites launched to provide additional EPIRB detection capability primarily in the Arctic.

Coast Guard Preparing To Launch Its First Satellites

Dec. 14. 2017

Two small satellites, scheduled for launch in 2018, will provide the Coast Guard with the opportunity to test the effectiveness of satellite communications in supporting Arctic search and rescue missions.

These satellites, or “cubesats,” are capable of detecting transmissions from emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs), which are carried on board vessels to broadcast their position if in distress. The Coast Guard will deploy the cubesats in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s Polar Scout program, the Air Force Operationally Responsive Space Office, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

There is more in the linked article. The satellites are cubes only 10 cm (3.9″) on a side. It is impossible to have geostationary satellites over the poles so coverage will be intermittent.

 

Coast Guard Buying Up to 16,000 Personal Locator Beacons

gCaptain has reported that the Coast Guard will recommend that all lifejackets on ocean-going vessels be equipped with Personal Locator Beacons.

“In the United States Coast Guard’s upcoming El Faro investigation report, Captain Jason Neubauer USCG, Chairman of the Marine Board of Investigation, will recommend that all Personal Flotation Devices on oceangoing commercial vessels be outfitted with a Personal Locator Beacon.”

“The investigation report does not call for a second EPIRB equipped with GPS, as some marine safety experts have called for, but takes the additional step of recommending that PLB’s be attached to all lifejackets aboard oceangoing commercial vessels.”

Apparently the Coast Guard is taking the lesson to heart. Intelligent-Aerospace reports the Coast Guard has let a $3 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with options for up to 16,000 McMurdo Fast Find 220 Personal Locator beacons.

According to the manufacturer,

The McMurdo FastFind 220 is small and light enough for you to carry on your person at all times. Using advanced technology, the FastFind 220 transmits a unique ID and your current GPS co-ordinates via the Cospas-Sarsat global search and rescue satellite network, alerting the rescue services within minutes. Once within the area, the search and rescue services can quickly home in on your location using the unit’s 121.5Mhz homing beacon and flashing LED SOS light.

These PLBs are available from a variety of sources including on-line for $190-$300. 16,000 PLBs for $3M would average $187.50 each.

Considering what we do, this looks like a good investment. Presumably every aircraft, boat, and cutter crewman will have one of these on their lifejacket or perhaps their work uniform.

 

Arctic Guardian 2017

This is all I have, from the German Navy Blog, “Marine Forum,”

6 September, ICELAND (multinational), Search & rescue exercise „Arctic Guardian 2017“ kicked off … first exercise of its kind under the auspices of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF), with all eight Arctic nations (Denmark, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, USA) participating … scenario sees cruise ship with hundreds of passengers gone missing in the Danish Strait between Iceland and Greenland.

Surely, we will hear more.

New Zealand and Chile Agree on SAR responsibility

New Zealand and Chile agree on SAR responsibility

NavalToday reports New Zealand and Chile have concluded an agreement delineating SAR responsibility over an area of roughly 60 million square kilometers that extends all the way to the South Pole and includes area Coast Guard Polar Icebreakers will routinely transit on the way to Antarctica.

Ultimately this may have some impact on territorial claims to Antarctica.