MCCs have been set up in most countries operating at least one LUT. Their main functions are to:
- collect, store and sort the data from LUTs and other MCCs;
- provide data exchange within the Cospas-Sarsat System; and
- distribute alert and location data to associated RCCs or SPOCs.
Alert data is the generic term for Cospas-Sarsat 406 MHz data derived from distress beacons. 406 MHz beacons alert data comprise the beacon location and coded information.
System information is used primarily to keep the Cospas-Sarsat System operating at peak effectiveness and to provide users with accurate and timely alert data. It consists of satellite ephemeris and time calibration data used to determine beacon locations, the current status of the space and ground segments and coordination messages required to operate the Cospas-Sarsat System.
All MCCs in the System are interconnected through appropriate networks for the distribution of System information and alert data. To ensure data distribution reliability and integrity, Cospas-Sarsat has developed MCC performance specifications (document C/S A.005) and MCC commissioning procedures (document C/S A.006). Reports on MCC operations are provided by MCC Operators on an annual basis. World-wide exercises are performed from time to time to check the operational status and performance of all LUTs and MCCs, and data exchange procedures.