SEAANGEL - AIS S.A.R.T. and Life Vest Transmitter


The SEAANGEL is a newly developed S.A.R.T. (Search and Rescue Transmitter) device for maritime usage. It uses AIS (Automatic Identification System) technology to send georeferenced distress messages via VHF radio. The transmitter is intended to be mounted on standard life vests or lifeboats. In case of emergency, e.g. man over board, the SEAANGEL activates itself automatically on contact with water and transmits distress messages (including live GPS position data) which generates alarms on AIS enabled navigation equipment of nearby ships. Missing people can be located and saved.

Mode of Operation

The mobile, battery-powered transmitter should be mounted on a life vest or lifeboat. On manual activation, or after being dropped into water, which activates the device automatically, it begins to send distress messages via AIS (Automatic Identification System) technology (see below) in a regular schedule. These messages include live position data, gathered by the built-in GPS module of the transponder. These messages generate an alarm on the AIS-enabled navigation equipment of ships within reach to start rescue manoeuvres. 

SeaAngel Operation Modes
SEAANGEL within AIS network


AIS (Automatic Identification System) is a worldwide shipborne tracking system to increase the safety of life at sea. It was introduced in 2002 by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) as part of the SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea) convention. This defines AIS as a legal requirement for most of international voyaging ships.

AIS is based on active transponders, which share ship and voyage related data (such as ship's size, position, speed, ...) autonomously on 2 channels. AIS is used to supplement existing traffic monitoring and collision avoidance tools within VTS (Vessel Traffic Services) and in ship-to-ship mode.

An AIS-enabled chartplotter (referred as on-board navigation display) processes the received data of nearby ships and displays it as georeferenced items on the digital map (ENC).

The SOS signals of the SeaAngel generate an alarm on AIS-enabled navigation displays within reach, which can show the exact position of the SeaAngel on the map.