McMurdo Group, an end-to-end search and rescue (SAR) and maritime domain awareness (MDA) company, has acquired Techno-Sciences, Inc. (TSi), a provider of SAR satellite ground stations, integrated emergency response center systems and coastal surveillance solutions. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. TSi’s Beltsville, Maryland, location becomes the U.S. headquarters for McMurdo Group, a division of Orolia, global specialist in critical GNSS solutions.
TSi has been instrumental in the development of the COSPAS-SARSAT international satellite-based SAR program, which has helped to save more than 35,000 lives worldwide since 1982. TSi is also actively involved in the next-generation COSPAS-SARSAT system, MEOSAR (Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue), which will greatly improve the existing SAR process with near-instantaneous detection, identification and location of emergency distress beacons.
MEOSAR, currently in its demonstration and evaluation phase, is expected to have initial operational capability in 2016 and full operational capability by 2018. MEOSAR will use SAR-enhanced Galileo (Europe), GPS (U.S.) and GLONASS (Russia) satellite constellations for greater global coverage and includes innovative end-user beacon functionality such as a return-link service on Galileo satellites to acknowledge distress signal receipt and provide ongoing rescue effort status.
“The acquisition of TSi firmly establishes McMurdo Group as the global leader in satellite-based search and rescue solutions. We are the only provider capable of supplying a single-vendor, end-to-end COSPAS-SARSAT emergency solution with a seamless ecosystem of products, technologies and processes that will streamline and expedite search and rescue efforts,” said Jean-Yves Courtois, CEO, McMurdo Group and its holding company Orolia Group. “TSi expands our global sales, support and customer footprint and adds to our already extensive expertise in SAR and MDA. We look forward to developing a U.S. SAR Center of Excellence to include manufacturing, distribution and support of McMurdo Group’s broad solution offering of distress beacons, AIS equipment, satellite communications units and emergency control centers equipped with search and rescue management software.”
TSi solutions are installed in more than 20 countries worldwide and include satellite ground stations or local user terminals (LUTs), rescue and mission control centers, and coastal surveillance/instruction detection systems. TSi installed the world’s first operationally ready six-channel MEOSAR LUT (MEOLUT) in 2011 for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and has recently completed a second NOAA installation (March 2014). With a team of 40 employees, TSi has a prominent list of government, military and commercial customers in Asia, Europe, Africa and the U.S. (including NOAA, NASA and the U.S. Navy).