In 2015-16 we worked with Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) on the implementation of the Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) capability. The new capability will deliver a faster and more accurate detection of distress beacon signals as well as allowing AMSA and MNZ’s satellite tracking ground stations to provide overlapping coverage of the Australian and New Zealand Search and Rescue regions. The project is progressing well and both MEOSAR satellite tracking ground stations are now built.
The new Australian Mission Control Centre has successfully processed data from the New Zealand MEOSAR satellite tracking ground station and sent the data to the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre to supplement the existing Geostationary Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (GEOSAR) distress beacon data.
The communication network from the Australian MEOSAR satellite ground station was completed in June 2016 and will be ready for operation in Australia by early 2017.
The International Cospas-Sarsat Programme (a satellite-based search and rescue distress alert detection and information distribution system) has formally declared that MEOSAR will enter into its first international phase in mid-2016.