A portable beacon, also known as a landing beacon, was a a one meter-long device that transmitted signals that could be received only by sensors. It was able to transmit a signal to a range of 10,000 kilometers from a planet's surface. It usually broadcast a simple signal to mark a landing zone, but could be reprogrammed with a datapad to broadcast a warning or distress signal.

It had a pointed end that could be used to embed it in the ground, but it also came with a tripod that allowed it to be mounted on a hard flat surface.