Type approval of 406 MHz beacons is a national responsibility. However, to assist administrations, Cospas-Sarsat has developed a type approval procedure. A Cospas-Sarsat Type Approval Certificate is delivered by the Cospas-Sarsat Secretariat to manufacturers whose beacons have been successfully tested, according to the Cospas-Sarsat procedure, at Cospas-Sarsat accepted laboratories. The Cospas-Sarsat type approval procedure covers only the transmission characteristics of the beacons.
The purpose of the Cospas-Sarsat type approval is to ensure that:
beacons, when activated, will not degrade nominal system performance
beacon transmissions will be compatible with satellite on-board equipment
- the content of coded information transmitted by the beacons will be compatible with LUT processing
Successful completion of Cospas-Sarsat type approval testing does not relieve the manufacturer from the obligation to obtain national type acceptance and/or relevant authorizations from national administrations.
National regulations may include requirements concerning beacon packaging, installation and operation which are not included in the Cospas-Sarsat specification (e.g. homing frequencies, automatic release mechanism).
Reference documents for the development, manufacturing and testing of 406 MHz distress beacons are:
- Cospas-Sarsat document C/S T.001 "Specification for Cospas-Sarsat 406 MHz Distress Beacons"
- ITU-R Recommendation M.633, "Transmission characteristics of a satellite emergency position-indicating radiobeacon (satellite EPIRB) system operating through a low polar-orbiting satellite system in the 406 MHz band"
- Cospas-Sarsat document C/S T.007 "Cospas-Sarsat 406 MHz Distress Beacons Type Approval Standard"
- Cospas-Sarsat document C/S T.015 "Cospas-Sarsat Specification and Type Approval Standard for 406 MHz Ship Security Alert (SSAS) Beacons"
- Cospas-Sarsat document C/S G.005 "Guidelines on 406 MHz Beacon Coding, Registration and Type Approval"
- Relevant national specifications and requirements based on IMO performance standards for 406 MHz EPIRBs or ICAO standards for 406 MHz ELTs.
Cospas-Sarsat Type Approval Testing
Cospas-Sarsat type approval testing should be performed at 406 MHz beacon test facilities which have been accepted by the Cospas-Sarsat Council.
Manufacturers seeking Cospas-Sarsat type approval of 406 MHz beacons should contact the Cospas-Sarsat Secretariat for further details concerning the type approval procedures described in the document C/S T.007.
The cost of type approval testing will be borne by the manufacturers.