Inmarsat To Deliver Wildfire GIS Data

Inmarsat plc, a leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, and the Immersive Visualization Center (Viz Lab) at San Diego State University’s Homeland Security Program, have joined in a partnership to extend the availability of time-critical geographic information system (GIS) data to remote teams fighting wildfires.

Using Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service and building on cutting-edge visualization research at San Diego State, the partnership will develop solutions to replace static, hours-old information with dynamic, real-time data. 

“By delivering dynamic, real-time information about fire perimeters, weather and ground conditions, Inmarsat and the SDSU Viz Lab will enhance the ability of incident commanders to protect lives and property and enhance the safety of firefighters in the field,” said Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, vice president of global government services at Inmarsat.

BGAN is the world’s first mobile satellite communications service to provide both voice and broadband data simultaneously through a single, highly-portable device on a global basis. Launched in 2005, BGAN is accessible worldwide.

Dr. Eric Frost, founder and director of SDSU Immersive Visualization Center and co-director of the SDSU Homeland Security Master’s Degree Program said, “This partnership is one more way the Viz Lab is working to evaluate and enhance tools and technologies to help the fire service deal with potential hazards with accuracy and speed.”

The BGAN network can be accessed through small, highly-portable Inmarsat satellite terminals at speeds up to .5 MB/second. As a result, headquarters leadership, incident commanders and remote teams can all share up-to-the-minute situational awareness about the fire zone.

Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. For information, go to

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