The road to ACR becoming known today as the world leader in safety and survival technologies was a high frontier journey through American history during the latter half of the 20th Century.
In the mid 1950s, we manufactured the first electronic flash unit for cameras that used photo flash batteries, impacting the space industry in 1959 with the first long-distance camera to be used from 300 miles above the earth. The 16mm Mark II "Space camera" was housed in a General Electric Mark II heat-seeking nose cone set atop an Air Force Atlas 11C Missile. The camera now sits in a place of honor in The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Later, this same technology would provide the basis for the development of the first repeating, battery-operated strobe to be used as a rescue light. These first dry-cell battery flash units were the genesis of the now legendary 4F Rescue Lite™ series that have long been standard equipment for the military.
ACR continued to "light the path" when in 1970 the crew of the stricken Apollo 13 relied upon a magnesium-powered penlight designed for NASA. When forced to power down, our pen-light provided the sole source of light for the crew as they struggled to get their capsule back to earth. In fact, all space vehicles for the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle Program carried ACR beacons and lights. In 1981, Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell found the same penlight tucked away in his desk drawer…and it still worked!
Downed pilots in Vietnam came to rely on ACR-manufactured survival kits including radio beacons and the SDU-5/E, the world's smallest pocket strobe. Many lives were saved thanks to ACR's equipment and cutting-edge technology. ACR was instrumental in the development of floating survival lights for Navy frogmen trapped underwater and was involved in the "Jolly Green Giant Rescue Program" involving twin engine helicopters in Vietnam.
Through government projects, we became involved with the research and development of marine and aviation rescue and survival items, including the development of marine and aviation rescue and survival items, including the development of the first EPIRBs and PLBs. ACR's safety and survival line has also evolved to include personal utility lights, marker lights, radios, SARTs and safety accessories.
Our efforts have not gone unnoticed, garnering many industry accolades over the years, including award recognition from IMTEC, Seatrade, Sail and Popular Science Magazine. Today, ACR remains true to its original mission, serving as the leading manufacturer of 406 MHz beacons and other marine GMDSS products. A full in-house team of innovative professionals provides the strength behind advanced technology products for many industries, most recently including the outdoor market.
Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ACR Electronics, Inc., and its manufacturing facility is staffed by some 200 employees and has been registered by TUV to AS9100C and ISO-9001.