MRO Magazine

European Commission Chooses McMurdo to Lead Development of Next-Generation Search and Rescue Beacons

By Business Wire News   


McMurdo, the most trusted name in emergency readiness and response and a division of Orolia (NYSE Alternext Paris – FR0010501015 – ALORO), has been selected by the European Commission (EC) to lead the development of next-generation search and rescue distress beacons under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program’s HELIOS project.

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Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s largest Research and Innovation program providing nearly €80 billion of funding from 2014 to 2020 to create more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. The HELIOS project is expected to receive a development budget of €3.5 million initially with a possible increase to €5.5 million.

As project coordinator, McMurdo will receive nearly €2.4 million of the total HELIOS development budget over the next three years. The award, which is expected to be finalized on December 1, will be used to create several innovative aviation, maritime and outdoor search and rescue products that are based on proven satellite-based distress beacon technology. Several of the life-saving improvements expected to be implemented include near-instantaneous alert detection, pinpoint location positioning and remote acknowledgement and activation of distress beacon signals.

“Being selected to lead this major next generation development firmly establishes McMurdo as a leader in satellite-aided search and rescue and fortifies our efforts to increase awareness, foster innovation and drive the standardization of these systems worldwide,” said Jean-Yves Courtois, CEO of McMurdo’s parent company Orolia. “With today’s announcement, our aim is to leverage the expertise of our consortium partners to build comprehensive, mission critical search and rescue solutions that will, ultimately, save more lives across the globe. We thank the European Commission for having the confidence in McMurdo to lead search and rescue into the future.”

McMurdo will lead a consortium of well-established, proven European companies and industry experts including Air France, France’s government space agency CNES, Cobham Aerospace Communications and other companies with expertise in aircraft manufacturing, protective clothing design, aerospace and satellite communications, distress beacon development and search and rescue operations. These companies will form the core of the HELIOS project’s key partners and stakeholders.

Under McMurdo’s guidance, the HELIOS consortium will be tasked with delivering a number of solutions utilizing MEOSAR, the next-generation Cospas-Sarsat satellite-based search and rescue system. MEOSAR is expected to streamline search and rescue efforts by accurately detecting and locating a distress beacon signal almost instantaneously instead of taking up to hours in the worst case today. MEOSAR is currently being deployed worldwide and uses the European Galileo global navigation satellite system satellite as one of its primary satellite constellations. For more information on MEOSAR and Galileo, please download the McMurdo MEOSAR/Galileo press kit here

For more information about McMurdo and its ecosystem of Emergency Readiness and Response solutions, please visit

For more information on Horizon 2020 and the HELIOS project, please visit

About McMurdo

McMurdo is a global leader in emergency readiness and response including search and rescue and maritime domain awareness solutions. At the core of these solutions are resilient positioning, navigation and tracking products, technologies and systems that have helped to save over 37,000 lives since 1982. A division of Orolia, McMurdo brings together nearly 150 combined years of experience by consolidating proven Boatracs, Kannad, McMurdo, SARBE and Techno-Sciences, Inc. brands into the industry’s first end-to-end emergency readiness and response ecosystem (distress beacons, satellite connectivity infrastructure, monitoring/positioning software and emergency response management solutions). Airbus, Boeing, the British Royal Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, NASA and others are among the hundreds of aviation, fishing, and government, marine and military customers around the world that trust McMurdo to prevent emergencies, protect assets and save lives. Established in January 2014, has offices in France (Guidel and Sophia Antipolis), the U.K. (Portsmouth) and the U.S. (San Diego and Washington D.C.).

McMurdo Group Press Contacts:
Randel Maestre, +1 858 837 9122
Chief Marketing Officer
McMurdo Group
General Press Inquiries
Orolia PR – Europe
Elodie Cally, +33 6 33 85 76 93
LPI Communications for McMurdo
Leasa Ireland, +1 310 750 7082
HomePort Marine for McMurdo (Marine Only)
David Pilvelait, +1 804 436 9002


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