Available Technology

Device and method for alerting to the need to recover something, identifying it, and determining its location for purposes of recovery

An alerting mechanism is integrated into a physical support device for use in the event of an accident or emergency. The device provides a signal that alerts potential rescuers about emergency events such as man overboard. In one alternative. it uses a pre-programmed code to provide a positive identification of the individual or object involved. In a typical application, a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) module is incorporated into a secure pocket of a life vest, the vest having at least one conformable antenna sewn into its upper portion as well as connections from the PLB to the antenna. The alerting mechanism may be used in a cooperative system using special receivers that utilize high temperature superconductor (HTS) RF bandpass filters for minimizing RF interference so that low signal levels may be received reliably. The system may also provide access to a database through common interfaces to wireless communications devices, telephone lines, the Internet, and satellites. The system may also use a programmable electromagnetic element on a plastic card, such as a hotel key card, to establish a secure ID for the user that may be updated periodically, even daily as security requirements dictate. Alternatively, the PLB may be operated at RF frequencies common to guard channels operated by the Coast Guard and civilian agencies such as the Civil Air Patrol. The system may provide information on relative positioning with respect to a rescuer or use GPS resources for absolute positioning.

Arthur R. Skatvold, Jr., Charles T. Nash, John L. Piri

Patent Number: 
Patent Issue Date: 
May 8, 2003
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