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Updated January 17th, 2024 at 19:48 IST

ISRO develops second-generation distress alert transmitter for fishermen

DAT allows fishermen at sea to send emergency messages from their boats and receive real-time acknowledgments.

Representative image of an Indian fishing boat.
ISRO develops second-generation distress alert transmitter for fishermen | Image:PTI
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Distress alert transmitter: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has unveiled the second-generation 'Distress Alert Transmitter' (DAT), incorporating advanced satellite communication and navigation features. The DAT allows fishermen at sea to send emergency messages from their boats and receive real-time acknowledgments.

Operational since 2010, over 20,000 DAT units are currently in use, with messages transmitted via communication satellites to a central control station (INMCC: Indian Mission Control Centre). The extracted information is then forwarded to Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCCs) under the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

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ISRO has enhanced the DAT with advanced capabilities, resulting in the Second Generation DAT (DAT-SG). The DAT-SG provides acknowledgement to fishermen who activate distress alerts, assuring them that a rescue team is on the way. Additionally, the DAT-SG can receive messages from the control centre, allowing advanced alerts about bad weather, cyclones, tsunamis, or emergencies. Fishermen can then navigate home or to safer locations.

Aids to fishermen

The DAT-SG also transmits information about potential fishing zones (PFZs) to fishermen at sea, aiding them in optimising catches and saving time and fuel. Furthermore, DAT-SG connectivity with mobile phones through a Bluetooth interface allows messages to be read in the native language using a mobile app.

The INMCC employs the 'SAGARMITRA' web-based network management system, maintaining a database of registered DAT-SGs. This system enables MRCCs to access real-time information about distressed boats, facilitating prompt search and rescue operations by the Indian Coast Guard.

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The DAT-SG was inaugurated by Secretary in the Department of Space and ISRO Chairman S Somanath, alongside ICG Director General Rakesh Pal, on January 15 at the INMCC, ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network in Bengaluru. The DAT-SG services are now operational 24x7.

(with PTI inputs)

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Published January 17th, 2024 at 19:48 IST

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