Satellites from the NOAA helped in the rescue of 106 lives in Florida in 2022

NOAA Hurricane Satellite – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Alex Erwin

A brand-new fleet of cutting-edge technology has launched into orbit over the previous ten years. Several new NOAA satellites have expanded the scope of weather tracking, climate change, air quality, and so much more thanks to their birds-eye view. In addition to being more effective, they have quadrupled resolution by scanning the Earth five times faster than its predecessor.

These satellites have proved successful in locating persons in need of rescue from potentially life-threatening situations around the United States and its surrounding oceans, in addition to pinpointing weather. Just last year, 397 people were saved with the aid of NOAA satellites.

These satellites are essential for forecasting weather and climate.

“The value of NOAA satellites goes well beyond forecasting,” said Steve Volz, Ph.D., assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.

The COSPAS-SARSAT worldwide search and rescue satellite-aided tracking system, which employs a network of spacecraft to follow distress signals from emergency beacons, is another system in which NOAA satellites are crucial.

Aircraft, ships, and handheld Personal Locator Beacons can all transmit the signal.

Of the 397 rescues carried out in the United States last year, according to NOAA, 275 involved water, 42 involved downed aircraft, and 80 involved land and PLBs.

Florida reportedly had 106 SARSAT rescues, followed by Alaska with 56 and Utah with 20 according to NOAA.

A sailor was saved from his overturned boat on August 5 by a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft off the Florida coast of New Smyrna Beach. Before his boat sank, the sailor grabbed the life raft and turned on his beacon.

More than 50,000 rescues have been supported by COSPAS-SARSAT since its founding in 1982, including more than 10,100 in the United States and its neighboring waters.

So how are the satellites alerted?

All of NOAA’s satellites are linked to the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking system (SARSAT), a network of domestic and foreign satellites that can pinpoint the location of a distress signal from any location in the world. These emergency alarm signals may originate from beacons on boats, airplanes, or even portable personal locators.

These signals are broadcast and then returned to the Maryland control center by satellites. The information is swiftly communicated to Rescue Coordinating Centers run by the Air Force or Coast Guard from there.

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