Coast Guard updating search and rescue
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- Sep 01, 2000
Three contractors have been chosen to design a modernized system to fulfill
the U.S. Coast Guard's oldest and most critical mission: search and rescue.
Lockheed Martin Corp., Motorola Inc. and Science Applications International
Corp. were awarded separate contracts this month that total nearly $25 million
to develop, design and demonstrate a state-of-the-art National Distress
and Response System.
The National Distress and Response System Modernization Program, estimated
to be worth $140 million, will update the communications and data systems
the Coast Guard uses to receive 911 calls from recreational boaters and
other mariners and to communicate amongst its own facilities.
Under the study contracts, the companies will survey selected Coast
Guard sites, develop a functional baseline and demonstrate a preliminary
production design, according to a Coast Guard statement.
Some of the new features the Coast Guard wants to incorporate into the
system include a data communications capability the uses commercial terrestrial
and satellite communications and a position location capability that will
automatically locate a mariner in distress.
The current system has 65 communication gaps and other areas not covered.
The modernization design, which will be demonstrated to validate that
each company's system meets critical functions, must include:
* Enhanced VHF-FM coverage to close existing coverage gaps.
* Position location beyond simple directional finding.
* Digital voice recording with immediate enhanced playback capability.
* Multichannel usage.
* Asset tracking.
* Protected communications.