Mobile Phone as an Emergency Beacon

Mobile Phone as an Emergency Beacon

ASOG 2021 Focus Area: News & Information

Shared By: Astrid Ayling

Are you keeping up with technology and how it plays in your aircrew life? Articles and white papers from companies are one of the best sources of information regarding new technology or the application of technology in the ASO world.

Here’s an article posted in AVBuyer magazine Multi-Mission / Aerial Work aviation section, i.e., how mobile phones are used as emergency beacons in Search & Rescue operations. It provides a simple overview of how the technology works and one type system on the market today.

If you want to learn more about this technology, one of our ASOG members (Peter Myers) is a Subject Matter Expert (SME), i.e., just reach out to him via the ASOG web mail service with your questions.

Mobile Phone as an Emergency Beacon

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The Desk Editor at ASOG is dedicated to manage and delegate the coverage of news items, broadcast, or online media to inform, educate and empower ASOG members.

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  • Hi David Bradshaw , Peter just followed up on your questions.

  • David

    A very good point, but the fact that there is no local coverage of GSM or (3G even) in Austarlia, doesn't mean the phones out there can't operate using those protocols.

    It is still the general case that nearly all phones are still capable of working on a GSM network, even though the local network oprators no longer does.

    Most other countries in the wolrd have hung onto GSM (2G) as the battery drain is less than other protocols, the frequency it takes up can be very small, and there are a large number of "coke" machines using this low cost system to send data back to the mothership. This will of course be replaced by some other device, probably using LTE (4G) modules. UMTS (3G) is disapearing rapidly as it makes way for LTE (4G) frequecies. Then there is 5G, but that is another story...

    I'm not sure why you think a system such as Artemis wouldbn't work in the USA or Japan, it does.

    Artemis can operate on GSM, 3G or 4G from 800 MHz to 2.8GHZ

    The Artemis system uses Software Defined Radio techniques, allowing it to deal with many different complex protocols and as you say waveforms.

    Artemis currently covers  GMSK, CDMA, OFDMA, SC-FDMA, and can be updated by software loads to do others. Current frequencies are from 800MHZ to 2.8GHz, but can be extended.

    The above is almost academic, as the biggest use case for this type of system is in the areas where the network operator struggles to provide location information, either in the fringes of coverage, or where there is no coverage at all, these are areas where Artemis excells, offering search paths well over 50Km wide in nocoverage areas, all done with only two antennas.

    I hope this answers your questions, but if anyone has others or would like more information pleas contact me.

    Best regards

    Peter Myers


  • Peter Myers     David has a good question.  David Bradshaw 

  • Very interesting. However, there isn't any GSM or 2G in Australia any longer, and 3G will only remain in service until about 2024, so without some upgrades to frequency and waveform coverage, this tech would be OBEd soon in Oz. Unsure its utility due this restriction in other parts of the world, but possibly wouldn't work at all in Japan or the US?

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