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Becker Avionics unveils new emergency beacon locator
Feb. 13, 2012, Dallas, Tx. - Becker Avionics announces the introduction of its new airborne Beacon Decoder (BD) 406, the most modern-lightweight, competitively priced 406 MHz beacon decoder on the market.

The Becker Avionics Emergency Beacon Locator or Beacon Decoder (BD) 406 provides a unique tool for SAR organizations on land, on water and in the air. The high-performance “BD406“ is a fixed installation or portable receiver developed specifically to decode and navigate to 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat capable beacons (PLB’s, SPLB’s, ELT’s or EPIRB’s) transmitting the 406 MHz signal with GPS information. The Becker DB406 provides the ability to directly decode the transmitted GPS location of a 406 MHz beacon data burst.

Brett Gardner, Director of Sales and Marketing stated, "The need to detect and locate downed aircrew, mariners and adventurers has always existed. Not being able to accurately pin-point both aircraft and crew can sometimes result in a lengthy and costly search operations, which can typically engage a number of Search and Rescue (SAR) assets. The new BD/PBD406 provides an immense improvement in identifying the precise location of a distress beacon when compared to older direction finding systems, in addition to a much lower hardware cost.” He continued, “With the increased population of 406 MHz beacons worldwide, including those with embedded GPS, there exists an urgent requirement for land or airborne SAR organizations, to be able to utilize their available rescue resources more effectively. The BD406 allows direct, real-time reception of the Beacon GPS Position during execution of a rescue mission. Due to its lightweight and compact size the Becker BD406 offers maximum flexibility for installation, while providing the latest geo-location technology.”

Klaus Fruehwirth, Vice President of Sales and Marketing added, “The Becker BD406 consists of a cockpit mounted 2.25” version, or a mobile battery-powered portable unit. The decoded GPS position is not degraded by poor RF signal quality and therefore improves the navigation accuracy and reliability during rescue missions. The decoder can display location data on it’s own self-contained LCD display, or on a cockpit display or integrated aircraft EFIS display, via the ARINC 429 output, in order to display the bearing to the selected beacon. The BD406 can track and identify up to 49 individual beacon codes, and will display the 15 digit C/S Hex ID Code to enable rescue services to effectively allocate resources accordingly in trying to find the distress beacon.


Beacon Decoder (BD) 406

The high-performance “BD406“ is a fixed installed or portable receiver developed specifically to decode and navigate to 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat capable beacons (PLB’s, SPLB’s, ELT’s or EPIRB’s) transmitting the 406 MHz signal with GPS information. The Becker DB406 provides the ability to directly decode the transmitted GPS location of a 406 MHz beacon data burst. The Becker BD406 consists of a cockpit mounted 2.25” version, or a mobile battery-powered portable unit. The decoded GPS position is not degraded by poor RF signal quality and therefore improves the navigation accuracy and reliability during rescue missions. The decoder can display location data on it’s own self-contained LCD display, or on a cockpit display or integrated aircraft EFIS display, via the ARINC 429 output, in order to display the bearing to the selected beacon. The BD406 can track and identify up to 49 individual beacon codes, and will display the 15 digit C/S Hex ID Code to enable rescue services to effectively allocate resources accordingly in trying to find the distress beacon. Also, the BD406 is a single block, lightweight unit with easy to use mode and scroll functions, all incorporated into a backlit LCD graphics display.

Features: • Real-time 406 MHz beacon monitoring by scanning up to 16 channels • Receiving the whole 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat band and decodes the full distress message • Single block, self-contained stand alone system design • Indicates the elapsed time since last message was received in seconds • Sensitivity > - 104 dBm / 1.4 µV / 50Ω. => more than 50NM range with standard beacons • Computes and indicates via GPS the navigation route to the emergency beacons and back to Hospitals • Tracks and identifies each target beacon (up to 49 targets) and displays the 15 digit C/S Hex ID Code • Qualified according to DO-160D standards • NVG-backlit (Optional) and full day light readable LCD display • Low life cycle costs – essentially maintenance free • Lightweight, weight less than 2.4 lbs / 1.1 kg for fixed unit • Power 9 V DC to 36 V DC (panel mounted) and AC adapter for portable system • ARINC 429, RS422, RS 232 output (BD406 only) or relative bearing