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Orolia receives Cospas-Sarsat certification for distress locator

October 14, 2022  - By

The approval paves the way for Orolia’s ELT-DT to play essential roles in meeting the aviation industry’s advanced safety mandates worldwide

The Ultima-DT emergency locator. (Photo: Orolia)

The Ultima-DT emergency locator. (Photo: Orolia)

Orolia is the first company to receive certification from Cospas-Sarsat and the European Union Safety Agency for its new-generation distress tracking emergency locator transmitter, the Ultima-DT.

The approval verifies Orolia’s continuous advancements in global beacon technology, including securing a single source, multi-year program contract to supply ELT-DTs for all Airbus aircraft programs.

Cospas-Sarsat is an international, humanitarian search-and-rescue system that uses space-based technology to detect and locate model 406 emergency beacons carried by ships, aircraft or individuals venturing into remote areas, often inaccessible by GNSS signals. The system consists of a network of satellites, ground stations, mission control centers (MCCs), and rescue coordination centers (RCCs) that work together when a 406 beacon is activated.

“Being the first company to certify a distress tracking ELT shows again Orolia’s unique ability to provide the industry with the most innovative safety solutions,” said Jérôme Ramé, Orolia’s aviation and military product line director. “With Ultima-DT, we address the EASA-mandated requirement for the location of aircraft in distress, but also the market need for an ELT meeting the most recent safety standards.”

Orolia developed the Ultima-DT in response to aviation safety mandates to improve global aircraft tracking. As per the ICAO Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety Systems (GADSS) recommendation and European Union mandate, all new aircraft delivered from January 2024 shall be able to autonomously report their location anywhere in the world and determine the end-of-flight location to help rescue teams rapidly locate the aircraft and recover flight recorders.

Unlike traditional automatic fixed ELTs and stand-alone units, the Ultima-DT is tightly connected to the avionics system. It activates upon detecting a potential distress condition and starts transmitting automatically while the aircraft is still in flight. This next-generation ELT autonomously acquires the aircraft’s location and sends a 406-MHz message in real-time, including the accurate location, to the Cospas-Sarsat distress alert organization.

The Ultima-DT is also the first ELT to fully comply with the latest EASA/FAA safety requirements for non-rechargeable lithium battery-powered equipment through (E)TSO-C142b. As part of its efforts to support airlines in their regulatory compliance projects, Orolia is also offering its portable Ultima-S ELT, which aims to meet these special conditions.

About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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