RTCM 11000.3 - Standard for 406 MHz Satellite Emergency Position Radio Beacons (EPIRBs), June 12, 2012 (version referenced in current FCC regulations)
This standard specifies the minimum performance requirements, technical characteristics and type-testing requirements of 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) used in the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system, it is based upon IEC 61097-2, Edition 3.0 and details only additions, exceptions and changes to that standard.
In case of any conflicts between this standard and any other document or standard referenced in this standard, this standard takes precedence.
406 MHz EPIRBs are divided into two categories and two classes:
- Category 1 EPIRBs are designed for use by ships worldwide where a float-free, automatically-activated 406 MHz EPIRB is needed and/or required.
- Category 2 EPIRBs are designed for use by ships worldwide where a manually-activated 406 MHz EPIRB without a float-free capability is needed and/or required.
- Class 1 EPIRBs are designed for use by ships worldwide including those regularly operating in Polar Regions over the operational temperature range of -40° C to +55° C.
- Class 2 EPIRBs are designed for use by ships worldwide that never or only occasionally operate in Polar Regions over the operational temperature range of ‑20° C to +55° C.
Any combination of Category and Class is permitted and thus this standard covers four types of 406 MHz EPIRB in total. Category 1, Class 2 EPIRBs meet SOLAS and GMDSS requirements. Other Categories and Classes may be applied at the discretion of each Administration.
All types of 406 MHz EPIRB shall include a 121.5 MHz homing transmitter.
The main body of this standard addresses Category 1 EPIRBs of both Classes. Details related to Category 2 EPIRBs can be found in Annex C.
All types of EPIRB designed to meet this standard shall include beacon position data, obtained from a GNSS navigation device internal to the EPIRB and shall comply with the requirements of Annex D.
EPIRBs submitted for certification to this standard do not have to comply with the Ergonomics requirements in Section 2.3.3 until January 1, 2014.