Avalanche Beacons


Avalanche beacons are portable radio systems worn by people in mountain areas, enabling them to be found in the event of them being buried in an avalanche. These systems comprise a transmitter and receiver operating at 457 kHz.

Due to the circumstances in which avalanche beacons are likely to be used, it is imperative that they are robust, foolproof in their operation and capable of functioning over a very wide range of temperatures.

Our Role & Activities

ETSI has developed standards for Avalanche Beacons operating at 457 kHz. These standards enable the devices to be placed on the European market in accordance with the European Commission's Radio Equipment Directive (RED). This standardization work has been carried out under a Mandate (M/284) from the European Commission for requirements associated with the use of the radio frequency spectrum to avoid harmful interference.

A further Mandate (M/357) and a European Commission Decision (2001/148/EC) also require that this equipment provides reliable communications to rescuers in case of accident.

ETSI EN 300 718 meets the requirements of the Mandates and the Decision. It covers the technical requirements for the operation of the equipment (part 1 of the standard), the requirements to avoid harmful interference to other radio services (part 2) and the requirements for reliable communication, as required by the Commission mandate (part 3).

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) requirements of Avalanche Beacons are covered by the EMC standard for Short-Range Devices (EN 301 489 part 1 and part 3).