For almost thirty years now, the Cospas-Sarsat worldwide Search and Rescue satellite system has been in operation, rescuing more than 26 000 distress victims. The scope in Cospas-Sarsat Antennas –project is to develop a body-worn antenna, suitable to be integrated into a life vest platform together with a commercial Cospas-Sarsat distress transmitter. As a result, a functional demonstrator is achieved.
The project work contains complete antenna design flow, from substrate material selection and characterization to actual design implementation, integration and verification. The resulting demonstrator system is capable to operate as a distress transmitter system in close proximity of human body as part of life vests.
The primary objective of this activity is to study, design and analyze the body-worn antennas, suitable to be integrated into a life vest platform. Moreover, the antennas are manufactured and measured to ensure the performance of the antenna element.
The secondary objective is to establish an interface between antenna elements and a commercial transmitter. This requires the development of a special interfacing circuitry network, especially if the final solution includes several antenna elements.
The following picture shows an example user case: A shipwreck victim has fallen into sea and activated the distress transmitter. Depending on the health status, the victim may try to save energy as much as possible by floating in a still position (left picture) or try to reach dry land / dry floating platform by swimming (right picture) Depending on the user position, one of the antenna elements is under water. The connection with the Cospas-Sarsat satellite is lost when antenna is under water. Therefore, the project objective is also to consider methods (number of elements / antenna placement / antenna control) to ensure that the satellite connection can be maintained despite the predicted user movement.
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Finally, the ultimate goal is to demonstrate full compliance in a simulated distress situation.
Project output in hardware point of view is a functional system demonstrator, which is tested in the abovementioned real life simulated distress situation.