- It is a treaty-based, non-profit, intergovernmental, humanitarian cooperative of 43 nations and agencies dedicated to detecting and locating radio beacons activated by persons, aircraft or vessels in distress, and forwarding this alert information to authorities that can take action for rescue.
The system utilizes a network of satellites that provide coverage anywhere on Earth.
- Distress alerts are detected, located and forwarded to over 200 countries and territories at no cost to beacon owners or the receiving government agencies.
- The Indian National Satellite System also incorporate transponder(s) for receiving distress alert signals for search and rescue missions in the South Asian and Indian Ocean Region, as ISRO is a member of the Cospas-Sarsat program.
- Cospas-Sarsat was conceived and initiated by Canada, France, the United States, and the former Soviet Union in 1979.