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Inmarsat-C Satellite Communications

Updated 1600 Monday 11th January 1999 UK Time

Typical System

GPSS can be used to track a number of vehicles whose positions are reported over satellite communications. GPSS is then run on a PC connected to a modem and telephone socket.

The Basestation PC Computer can be in any country, and the vehicles being tracked can be in the same country - or anywhere else in the World.

GPSS can receive coded messages from the vehicles which are decoded automatically into text and sounds. e.g. "We have stopped for our lunch break"; "We have had an accident"; "We are delayed by traffic"; "We are under attack"; "We have executed Plan B".

Messages can also be sent back to the vehicles. e.g. "Come home now"; "Initiate Plan B immediately"; "Go to location X next".

These messages can be displayed and spoken in any language.

Remote Multiple Vehicle Tracking

Typical GPSS screen for Multiple Vehicle Tracking over Inmarsat-C

To download a larger, but still slightly degraded copy of the map picture above as MV1B.GIF at 99,267 bytes, click here.

BT (British Telecom) provide a service called BT CSAT, which manages the flow of messages between the Basestation and the vehicles via Goonhilly in Cornwall. The cost of this service is per message, with no additional charge to deliver the messages to any country. All you need is a standard telphone socket, a modem, and a PC computer running GPSS configured for Inmarsat-C use.

Galaxy The vehicles must be fitted with suitable hardware, such as Trimble Galaxy GPS/Inmarsat-C Tranceivers, and a control panels such as those available from Lucidata. The picture on the left shows a Trimble Galaxy GPS/Tranceiver unit and its Antenna. The Tranceiver is little larger than a modem, measures 215mm x 245mm x 60mm, and can be powered from the vehicle 12v supply.

GPSS is hardware-independent and can be used with GPS/Inmarsat hardware from a variety of suppliers. It has been in operational use in the UK with Inmarsat-C since February '96 and can now exploit world-wide GPSS mapping from many sources.

VOCU The picture on the right shows a simple, user-friendly solution for the vehicle, developed by Lucidata, and in operational use. This "VOCU" (Vehicle Operator Control Unit) acts as the Operator interface with the Inmarsat-C tranceiver. GPS based position reports are transmitted automatically, but the operator may also send and receive coded messages and acknowledgements.

You may contact Dr Nigel & Eileen Bennee of Lucidata on Tel 44 1223 846100, Fax 44 1223 846200, their web site on www.lucidata.com or by sending them e-mail

Suppliers of Inmarsat-C Hardware and Solutions

The following are known to offer suitable hardware or total Inmarsat-C solutions :

Demonstration and Trial Use

For technical information, prior to downloading the files to demonstrate and use this GPSS capability, please click here