Emergency response satellite communications systems to link you and your support network 

In a world where disaster events are becoming increasingly more common, we regularly see the destruction of terrestrial infrastructure or the overload of mobile communications systems. This is when Inmarsat comes to the fore. We deliver reliable, inter-operable satellite communications to meet the needs of first responders to command, control and coordinate operational personnel in the field, whether terrestrial networks are available or not. 

Our satellites are safely out of harm’s way at 36,000 kilometres up in space and with dynamic beam allocation we are to focus our capacity where and when it is needed most. Communications made certain when you really need them. 

How do satellites help in disaster management?

Disasters happen in many forms, be it human-made or natural disasters. Oil Spills, structural collapses, explosions, wildfires, earthquakes, floods, to name a few. No matter what the disaster, they have a massive impact on life and communities, and are extremely challenging for local response teams. 

When dealing with a crisis, emergency services personnel understand the need for timely and accurate exchanges of information. One of the critical elements of preparing and managing the strategy for when disasters strike is the establishment of secure communications around the site to aid and coordinate the emergency response teams locally as well as the communication between local and remote personnel. 

Satellite communications have a key role to play in any emergency management scenario as they are largely unaffected by conditions on the ground. Inmarsat delivers the reliable, inter-operable satellite communications first responders need to command, control and coordinate operational personnel in the field, whether terrestrial networks are available or not. 

Inmarsat’s disaster response satellite communications services 

Inmarsat’s suite of voice and high-speed data emergency response communications systems are transforming the disaster response operational landscape, offering seamless, mobile, global coverage:

  • Our robust, quickly deployable BGAN, FleetBroadband and SwiftBroadband terminals deliver reliable broadband services on land, at sea and in the air.
  • Following the establishment of a voice communications link, data requirements from ground control often become increasingly demanding. Global Xpress allows for higher data rates in order to ensure operational expediency and success. 
  • BGAN PTT is the perfect solution for delivering communications on the move (COTM) to first responder vehicles. With satellite voice services backed up by access to our BGAN data network, situational awareness is in every cabin, at the push of a button – regardless of how local communications infrastructure has been affected by the emergency condition. 
  • And if you need Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communication using existing UHF or VHF radios with no modifications needed, there’s our L-TAC service, which when used in conjunction with the Spectra slingshot applique, provides a one hop link to our L-band ELERA satellites, acting as your radio repeater in space and negating any need to request scarce TACSAT resources.
  • Our IsatPhone 2 handheld satellite phone provides a clear, dependable voice service anywhere on the planet – no matter how remote – and has proven a lifeline for survivors in the aftermath of major disasters.  

Contact Us

Find out more about Inmarsat's Emergency Response services by speaking to one of our global team.

Our team dedicated to the US Government is always available and look forward to hearing from you. 



Enabling Earth observation satellites

Satellites in lower orbits typically include those used for climate observations and disaster relief efforts, as well as a host of other applications. Traditionally, these satellites have had to wait until they come back into range of a ground station before being able to receive tasking information and transmit telemetry and valuable collected data. 

Inmarsat and Addvalue’s Inter-satellite Data Relay System (IDRS) service, connects satellites in low Earth orbit to our ELERA network, allowing them to continuously maintain communications with the ground, receiving and transmitting data on demand and in real time. 

The new data link reduces waiting times for such data transfers from several hours to a handful of minutes. This can enhance lifesaving efforts when disaster strikes or enable observers to spot issues and direct resources to tackle them before they develop or get out of hand. 

Adequate prevention and preparations strategies employed across government areas prior to disasters play a significant role in the ability to conduct efficient and effective response activities when catastrophes occur. 

Disaster management

Adequate prevention and preparations strategies employed across government areas prior to disasters play a significant role in the ability to conduct efficient and effective response activities when catastrophes occur.


Mitigation and prevention efforts are now seen as having a crucial part in not only preventing disasters, but also in preventing the impacts being compounded through the neglect of manageable risks. Increasingly, government agencies are seeking to take actions that can lessen the severity of a disaster’s impact. 

Actions taken by some countries include the installation and strengthening of the prediction and warning systems, and environmental monitoring in remote locations. This can provide vital advance warning of when a natural disaster may occur, enabling emergency response agencies to alert the local population and deploy disaster relief aid where and when necessary. 


Planning for a coordinated response is crucial for an efficient and timely reaction when disasters strike. One fundamental component of a scalable strategic, operational and tactical approach to catastrophes is the assurance of accessing a reliable communications link from ground zero. 

Situation awareness of conditions on the ground and effective communications strategies are some of the main measures in the planning phase. They enable agencies guaranteed swift access and contact with locality of the event to gather intelligence. 


In the immediate aftermath of a disaster comes the response phase when the activation of operations centres, emergency services, coordination of search and rescue, evacuations and medical care are deployed to save lives, protect properties, secure unsafe areas, reduce economic and intellectual losses and support the local population as well as the disaster response teams.

Case Studies

Emergency Response Insights

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