Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NYSE MKT: GSAT), has announced that Traksat has deployed more than 1,200 Globalstar-enabled safety and tracking devices for humanitarian organizations across the globe.
NGO Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is deploying SPOT Gen3 satellite messengers and SmartOne Solar IoT tracking devices to protect relief workers and support operations in several African nations, as well as in South America. International Rescue Committee, headquartered in New York, uses SPOT Gen3s in numerous African countries to safeguard and track relief workers. ACTED is similarly using SPOT Gen3s in Niger.
Traksat reports a dramatic uptake of its NGO-centric solution with Globalstar technology as its backbone. The number of Traksat-provided Globalstar devices being used to support humanitarian efforts has doubled in the last 12 months.
In Traksat’s longest-standing project, more than 250 devices enabled by Globalstar satellite technology are providing staff security and supporting vehicle management for Humanity & Inclusion’s humanitarian workers in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), CAR (Central African Republic), Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, as well as in Colombia.
With global headquarters in Lyon, France, and currently ranked as the world’s 12th largest NGO, Nobel-Prize winner HI (formerly known as Handicap International) is an independent organisation that operates in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster, supporting disabled and vulnerable people to help them meet their basic needs, improve living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.
HI is equipping staff with SPOT Gen3s so that they can stay connected with their colleagues while working in locations where alternative communications networks are inadequate. In an emergency, a simple press of SPOT’s SOS button immediately raises an alert and instantly sends the user’s GPS location to HI’s central operations centre and local coordination sites, from where a rescue can be initiated.
Traksat has developed a specialist software platform with extensive options to meet the particular needs of NGOs and government agencies. With the combination of Globalstar technology, enabled by its fleet of Low-Earth Orbit satellites, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the Traksat platform, NGOs can benefit from a wide range of capabilities to support worker safety and other operational requirements.
Over 10 different mapping options can be chosen with Traksat, along with specific map layers with additional live detail on traffic, wind, weather and occurrence of natural disasters.
Geo-fencing options include alerts when two or more trackers are in the same predefined radius or when one tracker is moving away from the others. This is particularly useful to secure a convoy of cars, for example, or get a notification when a group of people are gathering at the same location. The system can also raise an alert should the user inadvertently travel beyond a pre-designated area.
HI’s security teams can keep a watchful eye on its crews: Should tracking suggest something might be wrong, security and contact protocols are initiated, and if needed, rescuers know exactly where to go thanks to the system’s instant and accurate positioning information.
Where situation-appropriate, low-energy, low maintenance SmartOne Solar units are fitted to vehicles via simple cabling to enable reliable IoT tracking.
“Globalstar technology and expert support from Traksat together play a big part in helping us meet our security and fleet management challenges,” said Emmanuel Bertolus, Logistics Manager at Humanity & Inclusion. “Our teams work in extremely varied and challenging contexts. Reliable, economical Globalstar technology, together with the wide-ranging expertise and responsiveness of Traksat, help us to consider geolocation as a key operational asset and never as a constraint. SPOT is exceptionally easy to use. It’s also very small, rugged, and discreet, and has a long battery life, so we get the reliable tracking and reach we need all in this simple, economical package.”
“Workers in NGOs such as HI often face desperate situations as they deliver support and emergency relief around the world,” says Pierre Laporte, Traksat Founder and Managing Director. “Providing these incredibly dedicated people with reliable, powerful technology that helps them stay safe and operate more efficiently, while we continuously innovate to deliver more new capabilities, is a role and a commitment we take very seriously. Even to install simple tracking devices in vehicles requires a certain level of installer competence and this is something that simply can’t always be guaranteed in some remote regions. SPOT, on the other hand, needs only a few minutes to set up and it’s ready to use.”
“We are extremely proud to work with Traksat to support Humanity and Inclusion’s workers, and those at other NGOs, as they strive to help communities devastated by crises, both natural and man-made,” commented Mark O’Connell, Globalstar EMEA General Manager.