A PLB that tells you if rescue is on its way? The DAME Design Award-nominated ResQLink View is next generation safety gear, explains DAME jury member Elaine Bunting
Until now, 406MHz personal locator beacons (PLBs) had a major drawback for the user: if the worst happened and you had to set one off at sea, you had no way of knowing if your distress signal had been received. The reason was the technology was simply not in place to do it, but it is now and one device able to do better is the ResQLink View.
The so-called return link service (RLS) is a unique capability of Galileo, the European Space Agency global satellite system. Galileo went live in 2016, and last year RLS became fully operational. This allows a message tagged to a specific PLB to be mixed into its position-fixing data streams, something that rival systems GPS and GLONASS cannot do.
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The ResQLink View is a next generation PLB that offers a clear two-way confirmation of message received and the first to show it clearly on a digital screen.
The unit is buoyant and compact, and includes a test button, a belt clip, attachment strap, and oral inflation clip, and it has both an infrared and ultra-bright LED strobe light to assist rescue crews. As well as broadcasting on 406MHz it has 121.5 MHz homing capability. The unit has a five-year battery life and operational life of over 28 hours.
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