Mobile Satellite Technology Revolutionizing Remote Newsgathering
Vizada and its many partners, played an integral, behind the scenes role during the rescue of the Chilean miners last week. The company and its network of partners in Latin America and worldwide, helped many major news organizations from the United States, Latin America and around the world, transmit the story live through an innovative approach some are calling “Broadcast in a Backpack.”
Just a few years ago, news crews carried large pieces of equipment to remote areas of the globe to report on disasters, elections and other events. That equipment was expensive and cumbersome, requiring complex customs declarations and paperwork that limited the number of crews sent to cover these important live events. In comparison, “Broadcast in a Backpack” describes the new compact, mobile satellite technology that news crews are loading in carryon luggage and taking with them around the world. These kits, which were used extensively in Chile and earlier this year in Haiti and other disaster sites, consist typically of a handheld Iridium and BGAN terminal that can transmit hours of live, high-quality video to studios around the world.
These terminals also provide standard broadband data and voice services that support the crew’s activities leading up to and following live segments. Because of the flexibility in services—for example, being able to switch from a more basic Internet service to a robust service that can support video streaming—news organizations are able to broadcast from these remote regions cost-effectively and reliably.
Vizada partnered with numerous service providers, non-profits and others to help the world watch the live rescue in Chile. These media outlets used the terminals and satellite services to send many gigabytes of data over hundreds of hours of airtime. In particular, Vizada Service Provider GMPCS/Network Innovations partnered directly with CNN, ABC, CBS and CNBC during the rescue efforts while Vizada customer and non-profit organization HumaniNet supported RedeTV!, Brazil’s first 3D network. In advance of the final rescue, Vizada fine-tuned its network to handle the anticipated additional traffic.
“Vizada and its partners came through for us in Haiti earlier this year and that gave us and our customers a lot of confidence to deploy the same equipment in Chile,” said John Stoltz, Director of Media Sales for GMPCS / Network Innovations. “We were able to quickly deliver dozens of portable units to news crews and others in the region knowing we could also count on Vizada to deliver reliable network service and hands-on support no matter what came up.”
Non-profits like HumaniNet also understand the important role these easy-to-use mobile broadcasting solutions provide on the ground reporters and production crews. “News and media organizations need the same level of equipment used by relief workers in emergencies to provide essential information to the outside world, as they did in Haiti, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and other disasters,” said Gregg Swanson, Executive Director at HumaniNet. “This helps raise awareness of the disaster worldwide, leading to better understanding of what’s needed to help victims, increased donations, and a keener interest in preparedness for future events. Enabling networks to broadcast quickly and completely, with on-premise audio and video services, is a win for everyone—and most of all in this case, for the trapped miners. Vizada and its network of partners continue to provide reliable service and outstanding support in the most difficult circumstances.”
Some of Vizada’s many Partners who provided solutions and support to media outlets during the Chilean Mine rescue efforts include, Arycom, Continental Computer, Digital Skies, GCS, GMPCS / Network Innovations, Inmarsat, LatinCom and Livewire. The company worked with Inmarsat to provide voice and data service throughout the crisis.
International Communications Group
ICG INTRODUCES BUNDLED VERSIONS OF Sora VOICE AND DATA COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
Sora Lg, ig or ig+ provide value, fast connectivity and increased functionality
NEWPORT NEWS, VA (October, 2010) – International Communications Group (ICG) has announced three bundled solutions to purchasers of their Sora advanced voice and data communications system designed to allow users to tailor their package to their specific airframe and bandwidth requirements. A key element of each bundle is a Cobham Antenna Systems Satcom product specifically aligned with the ICG Iridium and NxtMail products. Sora was originally introduced at the 2009 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Annual Meeting & Convention in Orlando, Florida.
SoraLg combines ICG’s most popular dual channel Iridium voice and data transceiver, the ICS-120A, with Cobham’s newly developed SB200 Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB) system to offer the most cost-effective worldwide voice and Internet access solution in the industry. Soraig substitutes Cobham’s SB300 mechanical Intermediate Gain Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB) antenna, the IGA 5006 SDU 7320 Satellite Data Unit and an HLD-7260 to provide faster connectivity while Soraig+ utilizes ICG’s premium three channel transceiver, the ICS-220A and a low-profile Cobham IGA5001 phased array antenna to provide operators of large business aircraft with more connectivity channels and increased functionality.
“We realize that the philosophy of ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t apply to airborne communication systems,” said ICG’s Vice President of Sales Jeff Saucedo. “The scalability, benefits and capacity of the Sora system make it an attractive option for both new aircraft and retrofit markets. The vast diversity of airframes, owners and operators, along with their requirements make it imperative that we provide a versatile solution that offers plenty of capability without added expense.”
All three Sora variants provide both enhanced cockpit / cabin voice and datalink communications and Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) and Air Traffic Service (ATS) capabilities that meet Future Air Navigation System (FANS-1/A) and Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) requirements for the flight deck. Sora which was granted U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certification (STC) last spring, offers both Iridium and Inmarsat Swift Broadband (SBB) voice and data services worldwide. The first Sora system was installed on a Gulfstream G200. The STC for the system provides the basis for installation on a variety of business jets.
Sora enables WiFi devices such as Blackberries, iPhones and personal computers to operate on the high speed SBB channel, while the cabin and crew communicate using Iridium’s worldwide voice. Additionally, the flight crew can utilize a dedicated Iridium channel for Datalink safety messaging and also have available a priority voice channel for air traffic management and flight operations personnel.
Sora gives the flight crew a worldwide voice Satcom system that can serve as an alternative to a second High Frequency (HF) radio, a system that is compliant with the emerging requirements of the NextGen safety services. On transoceanic flights, a reliable communications channel can mean the difference between completing a trip or encountering a diversion or turn back.
Blue Sky Network
La Jolla, Calif. – October 21, 2010 – Blue Sky Network, a leading global provider of GPS tracking and communication solutions for land, sea, and aviation assets, announced today that the Red Crescent Society of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian equivalent of the Red Cross, will be installing Blue Sky Network’s GPS-based aviation tracking devices on its first-aid helicopter fleet after a successful trial-run conducted during the first half of 2010. Aboard the Red Crescent’s helicopters are Blue Sky Network’s D2000 flyaway kits, a rugged and portable solution that will provide the Red Crescent Society with continuous satellite communications and offer unparalleled safety features.
The D2000 flyaway kit operates with the aid of the only truly global satellite provider, Iridium Satellite Communications. This system ensures that the Red Crescent Society’s fleet will be able to communicate at all times with ground crews wherever their routes take them. Other features include short code messaging interface, Ethernet port for connecting to any laptop or PDA, and a Mayday button, which sends messages to Blue Sky Network’s SkyRouter Web portal, along with alerts to programmed e-mail addresses and mobile phones. SkyRouter interface is accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Additionally, the kits feature an extended battery life of up to 12 hours.
The D2000 kit provides pilots with greater confidence, knowing that they are always in communication with ground control. This deployment will go a long way in improving the safety of the Red Crescent Society’s rescue and first-aid operations,” said Carlton van Putten, Blue Sky Network’s senior vice president of marketing. “Now the fleet will benefit from better tracking and communication, especially during the tremendously busy pilgrimage season, for which The Red Crescent Society is the sole provider of emergency health services.”
About Blue Sky Network
Blue Sky Network is a leading global provider of voice and data services via the Iridium satellite network. Our aviation, marine and vehicle products for GPS tracking, real time flight tracking and fleet management provide reliable fleet tracking and communication services. Blue Sky Network’s solutions serve the Aviation, Oil and Gas, Government, Forestry, Mining, Supply Chain Management and Intermodal Transportation markets. Founded in 2001, Blue Sky Network is headquartered in La Jolla, California with customers and distributors worldwide. For more information about our company and solutions, visit the Blue Sky Network website at www.blueskynetwork.com.
Rob Adler, Vantage Communications for Blue Sky Network, 415-984-1970, x 104, firstname.lastname@example.org
AeroMechanical Services Ltd.
CALGARY, Alberta–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AeroMechanical Services Ltd. (TSX VENTURE: AMA) is pleased to report that its contract to supply afirs™ kits and UpTime™ data and Iridium voice service to a Middle East military C-130 Hercules operator has been amended to add 3 additional aircraft, bringing the total under contract to 23. The afirs systems are being installed as part of a major upgrade and modernization of the customer’s C-130 Hercules fleet, which also includes a CMC Cockpit 9000. To date, 4 of the 23 aircraft have been modified and placed into UpTime revenue service, with the full fleet upgrade scheduled to be complete by 2012. This amendment to the original contract announced in a press release dated November 25, 2008 increases the potential revenue to $1,494,999 USD if AMA is able to install on all the contracted aircraft and provide recurring service for the fill term of the agreement. The agreement calls for upgrading all of these aircraft from afirs 220 to afirs 228 when commercially available.
This disclosure as it relates to this agreement is subject to the following disclaimer:
When a contract is initially signed, the intended number of aircraft, pricing and potential installation schedules is agreed to by the parties. The actual installation schedules as well as the number and types of aircraft are often revised throughout the term of the agreement as the airline realigns its fleet of aircraft with its business requirements. Delays in installations can and do occur which can affect the total value of the contracts such that the revenues noted above may not be fully achieved. Fulfillment of the contract terms may also be affected if there are any changes to government statutes, regulations or rules of the applicable governing bodies. The contract terms and values disclosed herein are based on the original information available to AMA upon execution of the contract and are subject to change. For the actual revenue earned, please see AMA’s financial statements including its revenue recognition policy disclosed within the notes to the Audited Annual Financial Statements.
About AeroMechanical Services Ltd.
AeroMechanical Services Ltd. provides proprietary technological solutions and services designed to reduce costs and improve efficiencies in the aviation industry. The company has successfully commercialized four products and associated services currently marketed to scheduled and unscheduled aircraft operators, manufacturers and maintenance organizations around the world. Its premier technologies, afirs™, UpTime™, FLYHTstream™, and FIRSTTM allow airlines to monitor and manage aircraft operations anywhere, anytime, in real-time.
afirs, UpTime, FLYHT, FIRST, FLYHTstream, and aeroQ are Trademarks of AeroMechanical Services Ltd.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
New Access Controller enables cost-effective management of satellite communications at sea
Marlink, the world’s largest maritime satellite communications provider has launched the Access Controller, a new cost-effective system which enables the seamless management of a ship’s onboard satellite communications network. The compact and lightweight system can be installed on any vessel to make switching between VSAT, Iridium OpenPort or Inmarsat FleetBroadband systems extremely quick and easy, helping users to efficiently manage the costs of satellite communications at sea.
“Bandwidth, coverage and costs vary from one satellite communications solution to another, which has led many ship operators to install more than one system onboard so that all of their requirements can be met. Our new Access Controller ensures that management of multiple systems is trouble-free. The system’s fully dynamic firewall capability enables the vessel operator to set up profiles, which allocate bandwidth and access to services depending on location and user priority, enabling a more efficient use of satellite communications services,” comments Chris Henny, Senior Project Manager, Marlink.
The Access Controller’s user friendly interface clearly displays which data services are being used, how much data has been sent and received, as well as how long the system has been online. Additionally, the ‘Remote User Control’ and ‘Remote WAN to WAN’ functions allow support technicians to access the system remotely if required. The system is available with four or eight ports to enable connection to the vessel’s network. The eight port model is available as a compact shelf, wall mounted unit or as a standard 19 inch 1U rack.
•Control communications costs
•Easy to install and use
•Connect up to ten devices
•Fully dynamic firewall
Marlink’s new Access Controller is manufactured by Livewire Connections, which has been a distributor of Marlink’s Wavecall™ solution since 2005. The relationship has now been expanded with Marlink distributing the Livewire FB-10 Pro Rack mounted Access Controller globally. Livewire has extensive experience in the maritime communications market, from Volvo 70 racing yachts to 80m private yachts, as well as merchant vessels and also acts as an airtime service provider.
Marlink’s portfolio incorporates an extensive range of satellite communications services ranging from its own regional, multi-regional and global Ku-band and C-band Maritime VSAT systems WaveCall™ and Sealink™ to on-demand services such as Inmarsat, Iridium and Thuraya.
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