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Orolia unveils a world first in satellite search and rescue technology

(11 October 2018 - Orolia) Orolia, the world leader in Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) solutions, introduces its new McMurdo Horizon system, the world’s first S- and L- band compatible phased array system featuring antennas developed by Ball Aerospace with all-seeing, horizon-to-horizon coverage to reliably capture search and rescue signals relayed from orbiting satellites immediately after line-of-sight is established.

The technology team behind this latest innovation includes Orolia’s McMurdo subsidiary, the most trusted name in emergency readiness and response, and the world leader in the design, development and installation of search and rescue ground-based infrastructure, and Ball Aerospace. Ball brings sophisticated phased array antenna technology to the challenge of enhancing global search and rescue programs.

As part of this global debut, the McMurdo Horizon system is now available to enhance regional search and rescue services worldwide with premiere technology advantages to complement existing and emerging ground-based systems. Orolia has been supporting the world’s leading search and rescue programs for nearly thirty years, reaching a major milestone with the world’s first operational Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) system in 2011 and remaining the only company to successfully install and launch MEOSAR systems ever since.

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McMurdo Horizon (courtesy: Orolia)

“Orolia has been honored to support global search and rescue priorities for nearly thirty years, including the installation of the world’s first MEOSAR system. Today, we’re excited to take this next technology leap by introducing the world’s first multi-band, multi-dimensional phased array system,” said Orolia VP SARSAT Programs, Paul Zweers.

Orolia’s McMurdo Horizon Medium Earth Orbit Local User Terminal (MEOLUT) can deliver enhanced search and rescue coverage and second-generation signal processing capabilities, all in a compact form factor with no moving parts. The key technology innovation, based on a modified off-the-shelf phased array antenna developed by Ball Aerospace, is a custom-designed Orolia solution that draws upon decades of advanced engineering expertise to provide best-value and unparalleled performance.

“With more than five decades of phased array heritage, Ball Aerospace is a market leader in developing low-profile, affordable phased array antenna systems for a variety of frequencies and platforms for the defense, commercial and civil markets,” said Rob Freedman, vice president and general manager, Tactical Solutions, Ball Aerospace. “Ball is leveraging commercial off-the-shelf technologies and automated manufacturing processes to deliver cost-effective S- and L- dual-band phased arrays for the MEOSAR ground stations, enabling enhanced mission critical communications for search and rescue teams.”

By pointing to satellites near the horizon, the McMurdo Horizon MEOLUT can detect and locate emergency beacons much farther away. This enhanced detection ability, combined with the McMurdo Selective Schedule Algorithm, enables the system to monitor more diverse regions, including the translation of oblong and irregular data points that are invisible to traditional systems.

About Orolia

Orolia is the world leader in Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) solutions that improve the reliability, performance and safety of critical, remote or high-risk operations, even in GPS denied environments. With a presence in more than 100 countries, Orolia provides virtually fail-safe GPS/GNSS and PNT solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide.

McMurdo Inc., an Orolia subsidiary, is the global leader in Search and Rescue (SAR) satellite ground infrastructure, installing more than 60% of SAR systems worldwide and manufacturing more than 25% of the world’s registered emergency beacons. The world’s most critical SAR programs have trusted McMurdo to protect assets and save more than 40,000 lives since 1982.

About Ball Aerospace

Ball Aerospace pioneers discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most. We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, drive insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure those who defend our freedom go forward bravely and return home safely.

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