Your behavior appears to be a little unusual. Please verify that you are not a bot.


Mass rescue operation takes place in Arctic Circle with Galileo SAR

October 26, 2021  - By
The AMRO 2021 exercise tested the rescue of 200 cruise-ship passengers using Galileo SAR. (Photo: EUSPA)

The AMRO 2021 exercise tested the rescue of 200 cruise-ship passengers using Galileo SAR. (Photo: EUSPA)

News from the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA)

In freezing arctic waters 60 nautical miles off of Svalbard, a search-and-rescue enactment proved the capabilities of Galileo as a life-saving system.

The Arctic Mass Rescue Operation (AMRO 2021) took place on Oct. 8, organized by the Norwegian authorities. The scenario surrounded a cruise ship that caught on fire with around 200 passengers onboard, located northwest of Spitsbergen far from roads, cabins, rescue crews and other infrastructure.

The vessel’s crew activated a Galileo-enabled EPIRB compatible with Galileo’s Return Link Service. Once activated, it took only 2:20 minutes for the Galileo System to track down the ship with an accuracy below one kilometer and deliver an SOS acknowledgement to the active EPIRB.

Once the Mission Control Centers received the distress signal and established the location, two Super Puma helicopters from the Governor of Svalbard, a Sea King from the 330 squadron of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and a Norwegian coast guard support vessel were scrambled to support the massive evacuation of the passengers.

‘’The AMRO 2021 exercise was an excellent opportunity for the European Union Agency for the Space Programme to showcase the power of Galileo SAR and the robust performance of Galileo at high latitudes in comparison to other GNSS constellations,’’ said Guerric Pont, Head of Galileo Department at EUSPA.

The Galileo RLS allows people in distress to receive an automatic acknowledgment that their signal has been picked up by the first responders. Galileo’s contribution to the Medium Earth Orbit Satellites Search and Rescue System (MEOSAR) — managed by the international COSPAS-SARSAT program — translates into 2,000 lives saved per year.

In support of Galileo’s SAR operations, the Copernicus Marine Service provides authorities and rescue centers input such as wave height, sea current direction as well as and water temperature among others.

About the Author:


Comments are currently closed.