The FLEXBEA project involves developing a new form of low-cost miniature beacon (Cospas-Sarsat or AIS*) for integrating into safety equipment, such as life rafts and life jackets, for the benefit of industry professionals and leisure boating crews. The aim is to offer a miniaturised distress function that will provide users with an automatic alert mechanism.

The project's technological challenge is to develop small-scale AIS and Cospas-Sarsat beacons that fit with different forms of maritime safety equipment. Recent technical advances in textile antennas will enable the system to be integrated into a life jacket without hampering the user, a key element, particularly for fishing industry professionals who need considerable freedom of movement. To integrate these beacons into life jackets will also require miniaturised batteries with optimised energy consumption. In the case of life rafts, this type of system will also incorporate a crucial feature, namely the automatic triggering of a distress beacon which will also have a manual override. By including the Cospas-Sarsat and AIS (AIS-SART) complementary distress alert systems, the beacon will offer maritime industry professionals and leisure boating crews improved search and rescue call-out functions that will be more effective at saving lives at sea.

*Cospas-Sarsat is an international search and rescue system which uses satellites to detect and locate distress beacons.
AIS (Automatic Identification System) is a system for automatically exchanging data between ships via VHF radio, enabling ships and shipping surveillance systems to identify the status, position and course of vessels in a particular navigation zone.

  • - Syrlinks, Bruz  [Project Developer]
  • - Plastimo, Lorient
Research center
  • - IETR (Institut d'Électronique et de Télécommunications de Rennes) Laboratoire ADH (Antennes et dispositifs Hyperfréquences), Rennes
Other partners
  • - Institut Maritime de Prévention, Lorient
  • - Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer
Fonds Unique Interministériel, Conseil régional de Bretagne, Rennes Métropole
Overall budget
1 577 K€