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Coast Guard Deploys Satellites To Aid Ships From Space

The U.S. Coast Guard, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, launched two Cube Satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in December, as part of Project Polar Scout.

The Coast Guard will boldly go where no cutter has gone before: into space.

Project Polar Scout will use small shoebox-sized satellites to detect distress signals from ships at sea and pass that information on to rescue units. A special ground station on the roof of a building at the Coast Guard Academy in New London will act as a relay.

Lieutenant Commander Grant Wyman, project manager at the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, said it’s the first time the service has operated its own satellites.

“The testing that is starting to occur right now is for the satellite to carry out its mission of detecting distress signals, and the satellite is now picking up those signals, sending them to the ground through our ground station, and we’re just verifying the operation of the satellite that it’s operating properly.”

The project is a partnership between the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security.