Inmarsat to supply adventure team with vital communications gear as they prepare for world’s first unsupported crossing of the Greenland ice cap by an amputee
7 May 2015: Inmarsat will be supporting the 65 Degrees North adventure team with critical communications as they attempt the world’s first unsupported crossing of the Greenland ice cap by an amputee.
The six strong team, led by amputee Peter Bowker, a former member of the British Armed Forces, will cover the near 600 km crossing of the ice cap from Kangerlussuaq in the West to Kulusuk in the East. While battling temperatures as low as -37°c, they will be pulling all of their equipment unassisted. It is estimated that this world record attempt will take between 24 – 30 days.
Inmarsat will be supplying vital satellite communication services for the crossing of the ice cap, including two IsatPhone 2 satellite phones. Inmarsat partner Cobham Satcom is providing two ultra-portable Explorer 510 BGAN terminals, which are smaller than a standard laptop and weigh less than 3 lbs (1.4 kg).
Explorer 510 is one of a new generation of BGAN terminals, which provides end-users with wireless connectivity for their smartphones, tablets and other devices. The user controls the BGAN terminal via a downloadable App that is available for Android and IOS devices.
The team will also be taking with them solar panels and wind-up batteries for recharging the devices and a tracking platform to enable authorised users to see real time positional information as they cross the ice cap.
The extremely lightweight solar panels have been provided by Bren-Tronics Inc and can be used to provide power to the Explorer 510 and IsatPhone 2 whilst on the move. The GRC Tracking platform, carried over the Inmarsat network, will allow the progress of the 65 Degree North team to be monitored in real time through positional information delivered via a user friendly GUI.
The adventurers will use the state-of-the-art communications equipment for medical and emergency back-up and to share their journey in real time with the media and supporters. The team can be followed on Twitter @65degnorth, Facebook or via their website.
Andy Start, President, Global Government at Inmarsat, said: “This is an extraordinary challenge and we are very proud to be part of such a unique adventure. Effective communications will be key to the team’s success and we know our technology is perfectly suited to help support the 65 Degrees North team on their challenge, no matter what the conditions.”
Senior Patron of 65 Degrees North, Major General Andy Keeling, said: “On behalf of the whole 65 Degrees North Team, I would like to thank Inmarsat for their wonderful support. The timely and generous state of the art communications equipment has guaranteed us peace of mind on all fronts.
“Families, supporters and donors will now be able to track us and talk to us, and of course our ability to deal successfully with any unexpected medical problem is hugely enhanced. Inmarsat has also massively enhanced our safety, and undoubtedly significantly reduced risk, and increased our chances of success. We are all very grateful.”
The IsatPhone 2 and BGAN will enable the team to maintain consistent and reliable contact with the outside world, even when the weather and conditions reach their most extreme. This will ensure they can communicate with their families and support teams at all times during the trek.
Crucially, team doctor Meinir Jones will be able to use one of the ultra-portable Explorer 510 BGAN terminals to liaise with medical specialists, if she has any concerns about the effect 10 hours a day on skis and the harsh conditions have on Peter’s amputated limb, sending images or conducting live video consultations.
The robust IsatPhone 2 handset is specially engineered for the toughest environments, and has an unrivalled battery life of eight hours; 160 hours on standby. It also offers reassuring safety features – an emergency assistance button which sends GPS location data and a text message to a pre-set contact number, and a tracking capability which transmits location information.
Peter, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan before being injured and medically discharged in 2012, is making the record attempt to raise funds for UK charity Help for Heroes.
65 Degrees North is supported by the Endeavour Fund, set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to support sporting and adventure challenges undertaken by wounded, injured and sick service personnel or veterans.
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