McMurdo Opens Emergency Response Experience Center

May 13, 2015  - By

Photo: McMurdo

McMurdo has opened an Emergency Readiness and Response Experience Center at its Washington, D.C., location. The center will showcase the latest innovations and technology developments for search and rescue (SAR) in an immersive experience with real-time demonstrations of the entire SAR process — from distress beacon activation to satellite-based location detection to emergency response coordination.

The facility will feature a working MEOSAR (Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue) satellite-based search and rescue system, the next-generation version of the current Cospas-Sarsat satellite system that has saved more than 37,000 lives since 1982. When fully deployed in the next 3 to 5 years, MEOSAR will greatly improve the existing SAR process with global coverage, near instantaneous distress beacon detection and a unique Return Link Service feature that acknowledges distress signal receipt. MEOSAR’s advanced technologies will be able to accurately detect and locate a distress beacon signal almost instantaneously instead of taking up to 30 minutes today.

For background on how GNSS satellites will be used in the MEOSAR system, see “The Distress Alerting Satellite System” Innovation article.

Visitors to the center will gain an understanding of the different search and rescue technologies by taking part in various search and rescue scenarios. Participants will also have the opportunity to sit at the controls of mission control center and rescue coordination center systems, similar to the McMurdo solutions used around the world by NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) and other SAR authorities.

“This cutting-edge Experience Center allows us to demonstrate the incredible advancements being made in search and rescue all in a single location,” said Jean-Yves Courtois, CEO of McMurdo. “Our decades of experience in pioneering the latest SAR advancements, our leadership position as the only company that provides an end-to-end SAR ecosystem and our ongoing commitment to saving lives put us in the unique position to showcase these emergency readiness and response solutions for our customers, our partners and the industry.”

Guests will also see SAR-enhanced applications such as fleet management, coastal surveillance and innovative partner solutions for aviation, fishing, maritime, military and other industries. Classroom training and other educational sessions led by industry experts and SAR specialists will take place at the new center.

“The McMurdo Experience Center is unique in its ability to make the entire search and rescue process come to life, which we haven’t seen done before in a centralized setting,” said Bruce Reid, CEO, International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF). “We at the IMRF are delighted to be working with McMurdo on a variety of SAR training, education and awareness activities. Access to this location as a true center of excellence for the search and rescue sector can only enhance this activity.”

Personalized, custom tours of the McMurdo Experience Center for customers, partners and press can be reserved.

McMurdo products and services are used by some of the biggest names in the world including Airbus, Boeing, British Airways, Embraer, Southwest and United Airlines as well as the British Royal Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and numerous global search and rescue authorities. McMurdo was instrumental in the high-profile rescue of Clipper Round the World Race Sailor Andrew Taylor and was recently named as the official safety beacon partner of the hit reality series Deadliest Catch.