In 1979, an international plan was established for global maritime search and rescue known as the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
The system changed international marine distress communications from being primarily ship to ship based to ship to shore based. The GMDSS provides communications for ships of all sizes – from small fishing boats to large merchant ships.
The Asian Development Bank recently commissioned GMDSS specialists Dunstan and Associates and their local partner company Cruz Communications to supply and install a new GMDSS marine radio station for the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Authority. The station is located at the Rescue Coordination Centre in Honiara and provides communication for vessels operating in the Solomon Islands region.
The station uses Barrett Communication 2050 MF/HF radio communications systems and the TransOceana Digital Selective Calling (DSC) system. The Managing Director of Dunstan and Associates, Glenn Dunstan commented "we use four Barrett 2050 radios as HF Digital Selective Calling receivers, a fifth Barrett 2050 as the Digital Selective Calling transmitter and a sixth Barrett 2050 for radiotelephone operation."
As part of the installation, five operators attended a training course on the principles of GMDSS and operation of the new system. The Barrett 2050 is designed for ease of use to enable operators to easily transition to the new radio system with minimal training.
Dunstan and Associates have used simular Barrett HF configurations for projects in Thailand, Papua New Guinea and Iraq. Glenn Dunstan went on to say "The Barrett 2050 radio offers great value for money. It provides excellent performance for a realistic price. That is why we have used them in many projects."