The DF-500 from Collins Aerospace is a software-defined radio-based Airborne Direction Finding solution that operates from 30 to 407 MHz. It has been specifically designed for compatibility with all search and rescue (SAR) mission platform requirements. It can receive all current international distress frequencies, including 121.5 MHz, 243 MHz, and COSPAS-SARSAT (406 MHz) – as well as Argos, automatic identification system (AIS), and digital selective calling (DSC)-encoded beacon signals. The system has a flush-mounted omnidirectional, vertically polarized antenna with permanent 360° scanning.
This direction-finding solution has a multichannel architecture that enables most distress beacons to be monitored simultaneously. It can provide the bearing to a COSPAS-SARSAT as well as its beacon’s latitude and longitude, along with its unique identifier, at ranges up to 116 nautical miles. Once the signal is received, the system provides the operator with a highly accurate bearing to rally the beacon and beacon GPS coordinates. This direction finder has an easy installation process and requires no calibration.