Alliance To Foster Satellite Emergency Data Solutions

Iridium Satellite LLC has joined with mobile satellite industry companies and the emergency response community to form the ProTECTS (Promotion of Two-way Emergency Communication and Tracking Systems) Alliance.

The alliance’s primary goal is to foster the rapid and orderly adoption of portable, two-way satellite-based location, tracking and messaging technologies. 

The alliance provides a forum for addressing issues affecting suppliers and users and seeks to foster the development and deployment of bi-directional satellite data solutions.

 “The ProTECTS Alliance will advocate for industry standards based on two-way satellite data links,” said Patrick Shay, vice president and general manager of Iridium’s data division. 

“While one-way emergency beacons can provide a valuable aid to life-saving services, experience has shown that they can have a high incidence of false alerts triggered by accidental activations,” said retired Admiral James Loy, former U.S. Coast Guard Commandant and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. “This places a heavy burden on first responders who must try to verify, by independent means, the validity of the distress signal before deploying rescue resources.”

Membership in the ProTECTS Alliance is open to mobile satellite service (MSS) providers, software developers, manufacturers, system integrators, resellers, distributors, industry experts, SAR authorities, first responders, trade associations, regulatory bodies and user groups.

“Eleven Iridium SPs in 30 countries offer two-way short-burst data (SBD) solutions for personal locating, tracking and messaging through Iridium satellites,” said Shay. “SBD represents a very efficient use of our satellite capacity for tracking and monitoring everything from vehicles to construction machines to individuals in remote areas.” 

Iridium, based in Bethesda, Md., operates a constellation of low-earth orbiting (LEO), cross-linked satellites providing critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication networks.

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