Stellar performance from Inmarsat-sponsored Solar Team Twente in World Solar Challenge 2013

Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, takes great pleasure in congratulating Solar Team Twente on placing third in the 2013 World Solar Challenge; a biennial race from Darwin to Adelaide for solar-powered, electric vehicles.

Solar Team Twente’s ‘The Red Engine‘ vehicle covered the 3,021 km course across the wild terrain of the Australian Outback at an average speed of 79.67 km/h, completing the race in a total time of 37 hours 38 minutes.

Throughout the race, the Inmarsat-sponsored team from the Netherlands benefited from having on-board mobile broadband connectivity provided through four Cobham Satcom EXPLORER 325 BGAN terminals. The devices supplied Team Twente’s race leader with critical metrological data gathered by the scout vehicles that travelled ahead of ‘The Red Engine’. The team’s scout cars were also equipped with Inmarsat’s BGAN service, enabling them to access data from anywhere in the world and to connect to other support vehicles, which could be separated by several hundred kilometres.

These factors combined to help the team adjust their race strategy to achieve maximum performance during the race. The Cobham Satcom EXPLORER 325 BGAN terminals also enabled Team Twente to share information via social media. Friends, family and fans of the race, worldwide, were able to enjoy the excitement of the race through regular social media updates, including photos and videos.

In addition to the crucial weather telemetry, the team gathered a broad range of information, including potential hazards along the route, road conditions, and environmental data, all of which helped to enhance the performance of the vehicle. All the information gathered was then used to map the best course for ‘The Red Engine’.

Gerbrand Schalkwijk, Vice President, Inmarsat Enterprise Energy, said: “We are delighted to congratulate Solar Team Twente on their outstanding achievement in the World Solar Challenge. By allowing the team to remain connected at all times, our BGAN service played a major role throughout the race, ensuring both their safety and helping to enhance the car’s performance. And, as proven by the team, BGAN can be operated effectively in the harshest environments.”

Jeroen Endhoven, team leader of Solar Team Twente, said: “It has been an amazing week, and the team is extremely grateful to Inmarsat for their help and support during this project. The Cobham Satcom terminals were an invaluable resource for us to communicate between vehicles, as well as allowing us to update the world with our progress by sending photos and videos back home in real-time.”

The support team, which travelled alongside the race car in a convoy of scout vehicles, a Decision Making Unit (DMU) vehicle and a media car, were equipped with BGAN terminals. Compact and lightweight, the vehicular BGAN terminal provides immediate access to Inmarsat’s global satellite-based broadband network. The race team benefited from continual, real-time reports on any shifting weather patterns and road conditions that may affect the race car’s performance.

Inmarsat has also provided the team with three IsatPhone Pro satellite phones for use in case of emergency.

The World Solar Challenge is a biennial, solar-powered car race, which covers 3,021 km (1,877 miles) through the heart of the Australian ‘outback’, from Darwin to Adelaide.

For further information

Jonathan Sinnatt
Head of Corporate Communications
T: +44 (0)20 7728 1935
E: jonathan.sinnatt@inmarsat.com
Neville Rawlings
Bell Pottinger for Inmarsat
T: +44 (0)207 861 2502
E: nrawlings@bell-pottinger.com

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L).