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German Translation
Die EPIRB-Seite gibt es auch in Deutsch. Danish Translation The EPIRB-page is also available in Danish.
EPIRB for Inmarsat-E

Description Handbook
Comparison with COSPAS/SARSAT
Distributors Technical Data

The navtec GmbH has developed a portable emergency transmitter beacon (EPIRB) using the geo-stationary Inmarsat satellites. Compared to low-orbiting satellites, the geo-stationary system provides for fast and reliable emergency indication. The technical specification of the navtec emergency transmitter meets or even exeeds all of the mandatory standards and regulations of ETSI and IEC as well as of IMO and Inmarsat. The navtec global-3 EPIRB is fully type approved and can be used on any vessel. Click here for a link to our distributors.
EPIRB in cradle

The navtec EPIRB is a lightweight, portable emergency transmitter for aeronautical and maritime use. It operates in conjunction with the geo-stationary Inmarsat satellites and guarantees rapid transmission of position information in the event of an accident. Four satellites cover about 97 % of the earth's surface. Only one satellite is required for satisfactory operation and three of the four satellites can be reached from Europe at any time. This guarantees that the distress call is forwarded without delay and minimizes the probability of data loss during transmission. A remote control unit (RCU) is available.

The handbook is available for download from our web site.
Click here to see how an EPIRB works, compare the different  ELT- and EPIRB-systems and see what to do in case of a  false alarm.
EPIRB stand-alone The navtec EPIRB global-3 can be used as a stand-alone unit without a cradle. In this case only a manual activation is possible. 
protection The picture shows the switch and its protection against unintended use. 
cradle The cradle with the hydrostatic release mechanism can be purchased together with the beacon or later if needed.
RCU for global-3
The navtec EPIRB global-3 can be fitted with an optional Remote Control Unit (RCU). Using the RCU the type of emergency can be specified. The RCU outputs GPS position on its display and its NMEA output. Click on the photo to get an enlarged view (30 kByte).
Download a 21 second video-clip from our download page and see worldwide for the first time, how an EPIRB (global-3) is released in 4m depth using the hydrostatic release unit.
All photos : Ingo Wenske, Berlin
Also integrated in the navtec EPIRB is a beacon option at a frequency of 121,5 MHz (formerly ELT) which assists in  the search close to the vicinity of the accident .

In the maritime version the navtec EPIRB comes as a floating buoy. In case of an accident it automatically ejects from its cradle, surfaces and transmits a distress signal. The navtec EPIRB can also be activated by remote control from a ship's bridge. Furthermore, it can be taken along as a separate unit and activated manually.

In the event of an emergency, the navtec EPIRB automatically transmits data via the satellites to the base stations. This data contains the unique EPIRBs system code ()serial number), the nature of distress, the last position with the actual time as well as the direction in which the vehicle is moving and its speed. An elaborate CRC defect protection guarantees transmission and decoding even in case of disturbances on the transmission path. Tests have shown that all base stations can receive the signals even with only 100 mW transmission power (1/10 of the nominal transmission power).
Technical Data of the navtec 1,6-GHz EPIRB
(click here to get to the Inmarsat-E system description, back to product description or to abbreviations)
type Inmarsat-E
Inmarsat type approval number
SOLAS / GMDSS type approval number
0735-00 (wheelmark sign)
housing measures (in mm), see figure 220 high x 210 (diameter)
weight < 1200 g
material polycarbonate
maintenance interval/change of battery 4 years (IMO regulation)
maintenance interval of the water pressure ejection in the holder 2 years (IMO regulation)
ejection methods
  1. manually
  2. automatically in case of ship's emergency
  3. remote controlled from a ship's bridge
ejection level (depth) 1,5 to 4m
primary frequencies 667 channels, 300 Hz spacing from 1,645 GHz
type of modulation carrier-FSK
transmission power at the antenna, EPIRB 30 dBm = 1 W
secondary frequency, optional beacon (ELT) 121,5 MHz
type of modulation AM / A9 / LF sweep
transmission power, beacon 17 dBm = 50 mW
frequency error < 50 ppm
integrated flash red, ca. 2 cd, 
ca. 30 flashes/min. 
increased flash rate during transmission
velocity 2g to 50 Hz, all axes
temperature range 253 ... 328 K (-20 to +55 oC)
test function self test with checking of all functions
period of transmission after triggering min. 48h
range, operational range world-wide, except polar caps, 97% of earth's surface
position finding, acquisition time  GPS-RX, 12-channel, cold start 40-100 seconds (!)
period of time between triggering and alarming 3-10 min

As of Feb 1999, data to be changed without further notice

Dimensions (in mm) :
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