Over on YouTube user Tom Mladenov has recently been using his RTL-SDR to listen to EPIRB distress beacons transmitted by the SARSAT payload carried by the NOAA 18 satellite. To do this he uses a 6.5 turn helix antenna that is resonant on 1.5 GHz.
An EPIRB is a maritime device that is used to send out a distress beacon for vessels in serious trouble. The EPIRB beacon transmits data that contains GPS coordinates of the vessel at 403 MHz to the satellite. The data is then retransmitted to a mission control centre at 1.5 GHz.
Note that the professional version of MultiPSK can be used to decode EPIRB signals.
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