A distress beacon is an automated signal device used in the event of an emergency in space. Various forms of distress beacons exist, including emergency locator beacons, while a particular type of beacon that utilizes slipstream space is colloquially referred to as the slipbeacon. Distress beacons are mounted on most human starships, and are compact enough to fit in a cryo-tube.
In 2526, during the Battle of Circinius IV, Cadet Thomas Lasky used a distress beacon in an attempt to get help for Hastati Squad, but believed that that the beacon was broken when he got no response. After the Master Chief showed up, he explained he found the cadets due to the distress beacon.
In 2552, a distress beacon was used by Cortana when the rear half of the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn was left stranded in space after the Battle of Installation 00. In 2557, it was pulled into Requiem along with the remains of the Forward Unto Dawn by Requiem's gravity well and was detected by the UNSC Infinity which attempted to locate the source of the distress beacon. Unable to reach Infinity and warn them of the danger, the Master Chief and Cortana attempted to use the satellite at Requiem's core to reach Infinity, inadvertently releasing the Ur-Didact in the process.
During the Second Ark Conflict in 2559, Captain James Cutter devised a plan to plant a distress beacon on Installation 09 and dispatch it to the Soell system, the former home of Installation 04. There, the beacon would be within range of Reach to contact the UNSC and have them send the UNSC Spirit of Fire help on the Ark. However, while Professor Ellen Anders succeeded in planting the beacon and launching the Halo ring into slipspace, it was intercepted in mid-transit by a Guardian, keeping the message from being received.
List of appearances
- Halo: First Strike
- Halo 3 (First appearance)
- Halo: Blood Line
- Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
- Halo 4
- Halo Wars 2