Report on Alternatives to Pyrotechnic Distress Signals

The USCG R&D Center executed a multi-year effort to develop a specification for a LED signal that could be an alternative to pyrotechnic, maritime distress signal flares as visual signals.

Though manufacturers currently market LED and laser devices that may be effective to some degree, this report documents a rigorous methodology used to develop a characteristic (color, flash pattern, and intensity) for an LED distress signal that will be conspicuous against certain lighting conditions at six nautical miles, in 10 miles meteorological visibility.


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