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The difference between SART and AIS SART – SARTs (Search and Rescue Transponders) are the primary means of identifying ships in distress or their survival craft in the GMDSS, and their carriage on board ships is required. The SART is a compact omnidirectional radar receiver and transmitter that runs on batteries. They could also be used in a satellite EPIRB that does not float. A SART’s batteries allow it to operate in standby mode for at least 96 hours, plus an additional 8 hours when being interrogated.

Difference between Radar SART and AIS SART:

Radar SART:

Radar SART would wait for a passing vessel to send a RADAR signal before emitting a sequence of RADAR pulses. On the ship’s RADAR display, the SART would appear as a series of RADAR returns leading to the SART’s location.


An AIS SART sends out AIS messages with precise GPS location data. Any vessel equipped with AIS can receive these messages, which can trigger an alarm tied to the specific location of the SART AIS.

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