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News

Iridium system to be used by Antarctic cruise ships


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Iridium
: 06 October, 2009  (Application Story)
The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) has approved a resolution requiring members’ passenger ships to be fitted with satellite tracking devices based on Iridium (Iridium Communications Inc.) (NASDAQ: IRDM). The devices will report ships’ positions at least once per hour when cruising in Antarctic waters.
Global Marine Networks (GMN), an Iridium Value-Added Reseller, is supplying its XTracker™ satellite position reporting system for installation on the IAATO vessels. XTracker uses Iridium’s short-burst data (SBD) service to transmit position reports from the ships at sea to a shore-based server, which can be accessed through a secure Internet connection by ship operators, search-and-rescue authorities and other authorized users.

“Iridium is the only maritime satellite communication network that can reach ships sailing in Antarctic waters,” said Greg Ewert, executive vice president of global distribution channels for Iridium. “Iridium’s constellation of cross-linked, low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites provides global pole-to-pole coverage and low-latency data links with compact lightweight data devices, making it the ideal solution for tracking ships, aircraft, vehicles and even individuals in remote and potentially dangerous regions of the world.”

“We have developed an outstanding working relationship with IAATO and its members over the last several years,” said Dr. Luis Soltero, CTO, GMN. “Many IAATO members are already using XTracker, and we welcome IAATO’s decision to require our Iridium-based tracking systems on the growing number of ships sailing in the beautiful – but hazardous – waters of the Antarctic.”

“Our members have voted to require automatic ship reporting as part of our organization’s commitment to safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to Antarctica,” said Steve Wellmeier, executive director of IAATO. “We recognize that climate change poses the most significant threat to the Antarctic environment, and we are adopting this mandate, in conjunction with other measures, to improve safety of navigation and provide an important tool for search-and-rescue authorities in the event of an incident.”
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