Handheld devices that communicate location or messages via satellite.
Personal Locating Beacons (PLBs) and satellite messengers are small, handheld devices that use satellite communications to relay emergency SOS messages, location information, and in some cases, text messages. SPOT and DeLorme InReach are two examples of Satellite Messengers in the U.S. Because many backcountry locations lack adequate cell phone coverage, satellite communications are often the only way to communicate with outside resources during an emergency. Modern smartphones are now developing the technology to call for rescue via satellite in emergencies. Many avalanche-related injuries require organized rescue and timely medical assistance; thus communication with outside resources is often critical. These devices have an SOS/location signal that gets relayed to nearby search and rescue agencies when deployed. Some devices have the ability to track locations and send and receive text messages to rescuers or other contacts.