A couple of answers to above comments: For sure the gps
isn't instantaneous, but very close depending on the PLB/EPIRB's antenna
position and deployment. Many activated beacons have the gps
position shown on the first 406 burst/transmission to the geosynchronous satellite
after a very brief warm up time. The small gps antenna
in the beacon needs a clear look at the gps satellites. The strong transmitted 5 watt 406 signal can blow through the vessel's hull
sometimes when the gps signal coming in is too weak for the beacon to pick up the incoming gps signals. Some of the older gps receivers
in EPIRBs were slow.
Getting other countries on line with new 406 MHz DF equipment
is just a matter of educating the governments. Eventually the saving of people quickler with the long range 406 DF capability will soon be well known. Not only is 406 DF capability much better than 121.5 DF'ing, with some 406 DF receivers, the pilots can read the beacon's hexidecimal code, and receive the transmitted 406 signal's gps position right in their cockpit
. Local city/county SAR units will take some time to get this new technology, as retrofitting or upgrading isn't cheap
. Once all of the older non gps 406 beacons are phased out, the RCC's will be able to get the gps position to the local rescue
units that don't have 406 DF or 121.5 DF capability.
Standing by, Greg