The Search and Rescue Laboratory (SARLab), located in Building 25 at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), is a multi-function laboratory operated by the NASA Search and Rescue Mission Office (Code 480). The SARLab consolidates all research and development functions of the Search and Rescue Mission into one unit, including a search planning station and two combined ground stations: the System Evaluation and Development Laboratory (SEDL) and the new Distress Alerting Satellite System (DASS) Proof-of-Concept ground station.
The primary function of the DASS Proof-of-Concept ground station will be to prove the concept of using the GPS constellation of satellites for distress alerting. This ground station will host the development activities of the new DASS Local User Terminal (LUT) to assess the performance of DASS. In addition, it will act as a test bed for the eventual transition to an operational system. The DASS Proof-of-Concept ground station will:
contain all SEDL functions currently supporting the Cospas-Sarsat system such as: monitoring of the Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) satellites, supporting commissioning tests of LUTs and Mission Control Centers (MCCs), special tests, and on-orbit verification of newly launched POES and GOES satellites;
perform on-orbit verification of newly launched GPS spacecraft that carry the SAR repeater
serve as a research facility and a test bed to investigate atmospheric effects that impact measurements of time of arrival and frequency of arrival of distress beacons; new beacon technologies such as coding; different message structures; and the best way to integrate the DASS into Cospas-Sarsat.
The combined SEDL and DASS ground stations in the SARLab will consist of the following equipment:
one EMS LEOLUT model 600, with a 1.4-meter flat plate antenna;
an EMS GEOLUT model 600, with a 3.8-meter dish antenna capable of pointing at the on-orbit GOES spacecraft;
a new extendable tower with 5 Yagi type antennas for 121.5, 243 and 406 MHz signals;
four 4.27-meter dish antennas for DASS located on the roof of Building 28 and electrically connected to the combined ground station in SARLab via fiber optic lines. These antennas will receive both S-band and L-band signals from the GPS series of spacecraft and capable of receiving either right-hand circular or left-hand circular polarization signals;
one DASS LUT consisting of four developmental processors for the reception and processing of signals;
electronic test equipment;
two SEDL beacon simulators: the primary Beacon Simulator and the Beacon Simulator Signal Generator (BSSG);
other antennas such as: Chu omni-directional antenna for beacon transmissions and GPS antennas.
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