McMurdo opened what it says is the world’s first Emergency Readiness and Response Experience Center at its Washington, D.C., location.
The center will showcase innovations and technology developments for search and rescue in an immersive experience with real-time demonstrations of the entire SAR process. Visitors will gain an understanding of the technologies by taking part in search-and-rescue scenarios.
Participants also will 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, the Australia Maritime Safety Authority, Maritime New Zealand and other leading SAR authorities.
The facility also will feature a working MEOSAR (Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue) satellite-based search-and-rescue system, the next-generation version of the Cospas-Sarsat satellite system, which has saved more than 37,000 lives since 1982.
When fully deployed in the next three to five 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, McMurdo said. MEOSAR’s advanced technologies, for example, will be able to accurately detect and locate a distress beacon signal almost instantaneously instead of taking as long as 30 minutes, as is the case today.
“This cutting-edge experience center allows us to demonstrate the incredible advancements being made in search and rescue, all in a single location,” McMurdo CEO Jean-Yves Courtois said in a statement. “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.”