BGAN links with unmanned aircraft for disaster response
A major disaster recovery exercise in Scandinavia relied on Inmarsat BGAN to send vital images to help emergency responders worldwide.
The Triplex 2008 event on the border of Sweden and Norway used an unmanned aircraft to survey the "disaster zone".
Images captured were sent via a BGAN terminal once the MD4-1000 mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), weighing just 900 grams, had landed.
The annual Triplex 2008 exercise in Scandinavia, supported by the United Nations' International Humanitarian Partnership, aimed to enhance the readiness of emergency responders for a real event.
The UAV was provided by Scandicraft, while low resolution images were sent using the Asign satellite-optimised IP-based solution from Inmarsat application provider AnSur..
Vizada, a leading satellite communications provider and an Inmarsat distribution partner, provided the airtime, enabling the critically-important images to be sent quickly via Inmarsat to a UN server in Geneva, Switzerland.
Scandicraft's head of business development, Einar Stuve, said: "The combination of our UAV and the BGAN proved highly effective, enabling the first pictures to be uploaded within 10 minutes.
"The images were published on a map covering the entire disaster area, which was available via the internet for first responders anywhere in the world to view - even before hazardous materials teams had suited up to enter the site."
The centre of the exercise was in Charlottenberg, Sweden, 70 kilometres (43 miles) from the Norwegian capital, Oslo.