An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is designed to automatically transmit a distress signal when a vessel is in distress. EPIRBs use satellite technology to relay their position to rescue services.
When the EPIRB is activated, it emits a powerful signal on a designated frequency that can be picked up by satellites orbiting the earth. These satellites are part of a global search and rescue system, which is coordinated by government agencies around the world.
Once the signal is received by the satellite, it is relayed to a ground station, which then sends the information to a Mission Control Centre (MCC). The MCC then calculates the location of the EPIRB based on the information provided by the satellite and relays this information to the relevant rescue authorities.
The EPIRB is equipped with a GPS receiver that is used to determine its location. This information is included in the distress signal transmitted by the EPIRB. The GPS receiver needs to have a clear view of the sky to obtain accurate location data. If the GPS signal is obstructed, the EPIRB will still transmit a distress signal, but the location data may be less accurate.
It is important to note that EPIRBs should only be activated in an emergency situation. False alarms can cause significant disruption to the search and rescue system and may result in fines or penalties for the owner of the EPIRB.
In summary, an EPIRB works by transmitting a distress signal on a designated frequency when activated. This signal is picked up by satellites, which relay the information to a ground station, and then to a Mission Control Centre. The EPIRB includes a GPS receiver that is used to determine its location, which is then included in the distress signal.