Science & Tech

ISRO develops a second generation distress alert transmitter (DAT-SG)

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed an innovative Distress Alert Transmitter (DAT) to improve the safety of fishermen at sea.
  • This second-generation DAT, known as DAT-SG, has increased capabilities and features that will transform how emergency messages are conveyed from fishing boats.

About the Distress Alert Transmitter (DAT-SG).

  • Operational Since 2010: The original version of DAT went live in 2010, allowing fisherman to send emergency signals via a communication satellite.
  • The Indian Mission Control Centre (INMCC), a central control station, received messages and interpreted alarm signals to identify the troubled fishing boat.
  • Coordination with MRCCs: The collected information was then provided to Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) operated by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), allowing for coordinated search and rescue efforts.
  • More than 20,000 DATs were deployed and used for distress signalling.

Evolution to DAT-SG.

  • ISRO used developments in satellite communication and navigation to develop the second-generation DAT (DAT-SG).
  • DAT-SG now features an acknowledgement feature, which assures fisherman that their distress signal has been heard and that assistance is on its way.
  • Two-Way Communication: In addition to transmitting distress signals, DAT-SG can receive communications from control centres. This enables the broadcast of advance warnings for hazardous weather conditions, cyclones, tsunamis, and other catastrophes, allowing fishermen to make educated decisions about their safety.
  • Enhanced Fishing Zone Information: DAT-SG also provides fishermen with information on possible fishing zones at regular intervals, allowing them to maximise their harvest while conserving time and fuel.
  • Mobile Connectivity: DAT-SG can communicate with mobile phones via Bluetooth, and messages may be displayed in the fishermen’s local language via a specific mobile app.

Centralised Control and Coordination

  • Sagarmitra Network: INMCC, the central control station, uses a web-based network management system named Sagarmitra. This system keeps track of registered DAT-SGs and allows MRCCs to obtain information in real time.
  • Real-time Coordination: Sagarmitra allows Indian Coast Guard troops to respond to distress calls quickly, improving search and rescue operations.
  • DAT-SG services are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide ongoing help to fishermen experiencing crises at sea.
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