September 4, 2020


The Cospas-Sarsat programme encompasses 45 nations and provides global coverage. Its organization consists of:

  • 4 founder members (United States, Russia, Canada and France) or Parties and providers of space segments, even if other nations now launch satellites for the Cospas-Sarsat programme
  • 32 nations with ground segments (antennas and receiving centres)
  • 13 user nations
  • 2 organizations operating ground segments (Taiwan and Hong Kong)
  • 3 contributors to the space segment (European Commission, Eumetsat and India)

The Cospas-Sarsat programme also works with three international organizations: the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Main programme decisions are incumbent on the Parties through the Council, which meets twice a year. Technical discussions are held between all participants through various forums, for example the yearly Cospas-Sarsat Joint Committee, which conducts a range of work sessions over 10 days.