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Updated January 17th, 2024 at 18:00 IST

ISRO Develops New Distress Alert Transmitter To Save Fishermen Stranded At Sea

The second generation distress alert transmitter developed by ISRO will not only allow fishermen to send out messages but also receive important updates.

Digital Desk
Representative image of an Indian fishing boat.
Representative image of an Indian fishing boat. | Image:PTI
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BENGALURU: ISRO has developed a new, second-generation ‘Distress Alert Transmitter’ to allow fishermen stranded at sea to send emergency messages from their boats and receive an acknowledgment of the same in real time. According to a report by PTI, this new system will incorporate advanced sattelite communication and navigation capabilities. 

The first generation of the DAT has been in use since 2010 and there are more than 20,000 such devices in use at this time. According to a statement by the space agency ISRO, when a message is sent using the DAT, it is relayed through a communication satellite to a central control station (Indian Mission Control Centre) where the signals are decoded to decipher the identity and location of the boat that sent out the message. 

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This information is then forwarded to the various maritime rescue coordination centres (MRCC) under the Indian Coast Guard which is then used to carry out search and rescue operations to save fishermen in a state of distress. 

The newly developed second generation system adds several bits of functionality for fishermen. To begin with, the fishermen sending out distress alerts will now receive confirmation of their messages being received. The system will also be capable of receiving messages from the control centre, such as weather alerts and information about potential fishing zones. The system can also be connected to phones using Bluetooth and the messages can then be read in the native language using a phone application. 

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"The INMCC has a web-based network management system called 'SAGARMITRA' which maintains a database of registered DAT-SGs (distress alert transmitters second generation) and helps MRCCs access the information about boat, and the coordinates of the boat in distress in real time. This helps the Indian Coast Guard undertake Search & Rescue operations at the time of distress, without any time delay"," said ISRO in its statement. 

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Published January 17th, 2024 at 18:00 IST

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