Low cost distress alert transmitter for fishermen

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Ahmedabad, Sep 26 (UNI) The Indian Coast Guard, Ahmedabad based Space Application Centre and VXL Technologies Limited, Faridabad, have jointly developed a low-cost Global Positioning System (GPS) transmitter-based fisheries alert system for use by fishermen at sea.

A formal handing over function was held by the Indian Coast Guard at Porbandar today for handing over 20 such instruments to various fishing associations along Gujarat coast for fitment on boats, Defence sources said here.

The Coast Guard informed that the transmitter, developed by ISRO, has a battery life of 24-48 hours after activation. It is fitted to the fishing boat and on activation, gives the boat's co-ordinates with the global positioning system (GPS) to the Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Mumbai.

All Distress alerts will be picked up by INSAT 3A satellite and relayed to the reception centre at the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre. Situations like medical emergency, fire on board, sinking or capture of boats can be reported to authorities on shore for immediate action.

The transmitter operates through a DRT transponder and can send continuous alerts for 24 hours once every five minutes on an average, while staff at the rescue centers track the boat as it appears on a GIS map on their computer screens.

Each transmitter, costing below Rs 10,000 each, with an omni-directional antenna, has a lithium battery life of 24 to 48 hours after activation and will give the identification number and GPS position of the boat to the Coast Guard.

R Pathak, Deputy Director, Fisheries Veraval, Deepankar Trivedi, Superintendent of Police, Probandar, Uma Shankar, Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Deputy Inspector General TKS Chandran, Commander, No 1 Coast Guard District (Gujarat, Daman and Diu) were present on the occasion.

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