The Search and Rescue Mission Office at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) maintains a facility to support testing of the Cospas-Sarsat System. It also performs a valuable research and development function to investigate new system concepts. This facility is called the System Evaluation and Development Laboratory (SEDL). The SEDL contains the subsystems necessary to track and perform testing on the environmental and navigation satellites that comprise the Cospas-Sarsat system.
Currently, the SEDL retains most of the functions and capabilities of the first generation United States Local User Terminals (LUTs) with the addition of customized test equipment and specialized antenna systems. The SEDL LUT collects and analyzes radio frequency distress signals relayed by satellites from Cospas-Sarsat compatible emergency beacons. The LUT consists of a radio receiving subsystem, which includes a roof mounted tracking antenna, radio reception electronics, various components to filter and process signals in the 121.5, 243.0, and 406.0 MHz frequency bands, and a computer processing unit. The LUT is used to perform post-launch and special testing to support the Cospas-Sarsat program.
Other subsystems within the SEDL include:
The SEDL staff has expertise in software development, ground station systems engineering, systems maintenance, and operations. The staff continues to improve the performance and operation of the ground station and Post Launch Testing Subsystem.
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