Safety and survival specialist ACR Electronics introduced the new Cospas-Sarsat approved ResQLink AIS Personal Locator Beacon, the most comprehensive communication set on the market for the rapid response and rescue of boaters.
Featuring multiple levels of integrated signal technology in one compact package, the advanced ACR PLB with integrated AIS Man Overboard (MOB) alert combines the global response of the 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat satellite rescue services with the transmission of AIS signals for local assistance from nearby vessels.
ACR has also introduced Near Field Communications (NFC) into the ResQLink AIS, unleashing a new way for beacon owners to monitor their beacons, review self-test results, view GNSS test locations, and monitor beacon performance and maintenance. By simply holding a mobile phone over the beacon’s designated NFC area, the latest beacon information is automatically transferred into the ACR Electronics mobile app for viewing.
The ResQLink AIS is designed for installation in a compatible life jacket to semi-automatically activate upon inflation of the jacket, even if the survivor is incapacitated. With innovative design elements and multifunction clips, the beacon can also be easily carried by the user to suit the application or activity.
Once activated, the ACR beacon delivers a complete communication link to emergency services, integrating GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning, 406 MHz, 121.5 MHz RDF signals and AIS transmission, as well as the new Galileo Return Link Service (RLS) technology. The PLB transmits an AIS man overboard signal that will be picked up by any AIS equipped vessels within VHF radio range and plotted onto a connected chart plotter or ECDIS system.
At the same time, a 406 MHz distress signal will quickly and accurately relay the position to a worldwide network of Cospas-Sarsat search and rescue satellites, triggering an international response that will be forwarded to the most suitable rescue service for the location of the survivor.
Offering vital reassurance in a life-threatening emergency, the ResQLink PLB is compatible with Return Link Service (RLS) alerting technology and can provide the user with confirmation that the international satellite system has received their distress message and location.
The ACR AIS personal locator beacon features more built-in local aids to location in the form of the 121 MHz homing signal, plus visible and infrared strobe lights, which will be operational to guide assistance directly to the location, particularly during night, or other low visibility rescues.
For sailors operating in relatively close proximity to other vessels, the most likely source of a swift rescue will come from one of those vessels that will have been alerted by the AIS MOB signal. If this signal is not received by a vessel within range, then the 406 MHz global satellite system will trigger a response suitable for the location.
“ACR Electronics is proud to answer the demand from boaters for AIS man overboard and Cospas-Sarsat technology in one complete PLB package with the new ResQLink AIS,” Mikele D’Arcangelo, Vice President of Global Marketing and Product Management for ACR Electronics, said. “Offering a new level of safety that will help save more lives, our new PLB gives boaters the best chance of alerting others to a distress situation. This next generation device provides our customers with the most advanced technology, plus the innovative design, functionality, features and ease of use that they expect from ACR Electronics.”
Weighing just 0.42lbs (190g), the rugged and waterproof ResQLink AIS measures 7.87in / 20cm (L) x 1.41in / 3.6cm (W) x 1.81in / 3.0cm (D). It is MEOSAR compatible and capable of operating for 24 hours, with a five-year battery life.