The DF-500 system enables aircraft to receive and immediately locate activated 406 MHz Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) signals. Rockwell Collins Image
Building on the search and rescue (SAR) mission success of its predecessor, Rockwell Collins has introduced its new DF-500 Direction Finder.
The highly capable DF-500 system pinpoints distress signals with unmatched accuracy and reliability. It enables aircraft to receive and immediately locate activated 406 MHz Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) signals, allowing crews to go directly to people in distress.
“When it comes to airborne SAR missions, saving time is often the difference between a rescue and a recovery,” said Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager, Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “That’s why civilian, government and military SAR organizations are upgrading their aircraft’s direction-finder capabilities with Rockwell Collins’ DF-500 direction finder.”
The next generation DF-500 direction finder replaces the DF-430, which serves government and military SAR operators in all domains worldwide. The DF-500 is fully backwards compatible with the DF-430 direction finding system. Additionally, the system’s all solid-state antenna is designed to easily drop into mounting provisions for the widely used DF-301E direction finding antenna system.
Software defined radio technology developed for the DF-500 enables higher sensitivity, immunity to interferences, and stability of bearing indications. New features include multi-channel scanning and real-time monitoring, as well as fast scanning and interoperability with maritime digital selective calling (DSC) and automatic identification system (AIS) distress protocols. Its unique multi-channel architecture enables key frequencies to be monitored simultaneously allowing rapid detection of emergency beacons and distress or safety calls over V/UHF radios.
The DF-500 provides full compatibility with all existing and all future identified frequencies for the International COSPAS-SARSAT Program, a satellite-based SAR distress alert detection and information distribution system, and can be upgraded to new waveforms.