Vessel Tracking: Falcon Mega Solutions Making Seas Safe and Secure for Vessels and their Crew

The open seas have become increasingly dangerous for vessels. Instances of hijackings, kidnappings and piracy episodes are increasing. According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau, there was an increase in piracy and armed robbery on the world’s seas in the first nine months of 2020. Between January and September 2020, there were 132 attacks, up from 119 at the same time last year.

vessel tracking with satelliteIn response, ship owners rely more and more on innovative technologies to protect their crew and vessels. Satellite IoT technology in vessel tracking and remote monitoring and control is a key component in the fight against piracy and in ensuring the safety and security of the crew, the ship and the goods on board.

Zurich reports that piracy and maritime terrorism cost as much as $12 bn per year in the world’s oceans.

ORBCOMM works with partners to deliver best-in-class IoT solutions to support the maritime industry’s measures to protect their crew and vessels. One of these companies is Pakistan-based Falcon Mega Solutions (FMS), which provides maritime security, remote asset monitoring, tracking and surveillance to ship owners, security companies, marine and fishing industries worldwide. FMS works with ORBCOMM as a Value Added Reseller. We spoke with FMS to discuss their MAT and SSAS solutions, the working relationship between FMS and ORBCOMM, and the value the two companies bring to asset tracking and visibility.

Working Together for Enhanced Maritime Security

Established in 2012, FMS has grown to become a leading service provider of state-of-the-art tracking, monitoring and security solutions for offshore, marine and fishing industries. Serving 1,500 vessels across 250 customers, the company is committed to maritime security, asset monitoring and vessel tracking in Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

Working with ORBCOMM’s hardware, connectivity and support portals, FMS offers a range of versatile and reliable satellite technology-based solutions that empower their customers to track, monitor and manage their vessels worldwide seamlessly. FMS has developed maritime-specific tracking and monitoring systems, with three specific solutions for Marine Asset Tracking, Ship Security Alert Systems and E-mail. 

Solutions for Maritime Safety

For marine asset tracking, FMS offers Track by Distance, power monitoring, V-mail software, route planning and Falcon Mega Track (FMT), a web-based application for increased visibility of business operations, enhanced efficiency, and greater safety and security of vessels and boats. The FMT web-based platform provides customers with full tracking, monitoring and control of their fleet. FMT’s route planning feature creates the preferred route and geofences on a map and assigns vessels to the route, to provide progress reports and ETAs, improving vessel utilization and customer service. Time-based tracking monitors vessels and reports their position after a specific time interval. Distance-based vessel tracking uses an ORBCOMM satellite (IsatData Pro) terminal to send automatic position reports, security alerts and warning by email and SMS if a vessel deviates from the route.

FMS’s Ship Security Alert Systems (SSAS) leverages ORBCOMM’s satellite IoT solutions to deliver discrete security alerts of the ship’s location and status. FMS’s SSAS products, the FMT-SSAS-V1 and FMT-SSAS-V2, are advanced ship security alert systems using ORBCOMM’s ST 6100 and IDP 800 satellite terminals, with global satellite connectivity over the IsatData Pro network. Featuring panic buttons and power packs, SSAS alerts ship owners by email and SMS in an emergency or if the boat is under attack by pirates.

FMS’s unique V-Mail solution gives vessels access to send and receive short email messages through MAT and SSAS terminals, as a low-cost satellite email solution and full email functionality through any internet connection available. Using data compression to reduce the size of emails, it reduces the cost of email at sea and can enhance routine and emergency communications.

Customer Use Case: The Oil & Gas Industry

FMS works with ship owners, security companies and the marine and fishing industry to deliver state-of-the-art tracking monitoring and security. Since 2013, FMS has provided an oil and gas company with a reliable SSAS and a complete fleet management solution for their 19 oil tankers and five tugs. The security-conscious organization required two SSAS devices: a primary tracker for general use and a second discreet device for covert security.

The oil and gas company selected FMT-SSAS-V1 with ORBCOMM’s ST 6100 as the primary SSAS, required by the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS). The secondary, discreet device they use is the FMT-SSAS-V2. An IDP unit with an internal battery, the device ensures the system keeps running in the event of a piracy attack or other emergency. With additional features such as graph view on map, flexible notification settings, tide reports, geofencing, route planning and weather calculations, it has worked well for the organization.   

Working Together

ORBCOMM and FMS have a tightly integrated working relationship, partnering on engineering and installation, upgrades and customer service. Shakeel Tariq from FMS says the partnership is built on shared values. “We are proud to work with a market leader in the IoT space like ORBCOMM. Combining our expertise has helped our core business of marine, ship and fixed asset tracking to grow. The connectivity and hardware on offer from ORBCOMM are second-to-none.”

A new development in the past year is that FMS now offers its vessel tracking platform on a “Software as a Service” basis. ORBCOMM’s hardware is integrated with FMT to provide vessel tracking, monitoring and V-mail support at a low fixed monthly cost per vessel.

ORBCOMM solutions are available globally directly and through our best-in-class value-added resellers (VARs) and solution providers. We work to combine the expertise of our industry partners with input from all stakeholders to adapt our range of industrial IoT solutions for a global audience. To learn more about ORBCOMM’s work with solution providers like Falcon Mega Solutions, please visit our partnership page or email us

Posted in 3. Maritime / AIS Tagged with: , , , , ,

ELD Update: FMCSA Request for Comment on Yard Move Guidance

The FMCSA has posted a notification to the Federal Registry seeking comment regarding a proposed update and clarification of the use of Yard Move. When the FMCSA published the ELD Mandate it did not specifically define a Yard or the proper use of the Yard Move special indicator within the ELD Mandate. Instead, it deferred to HOS regulations under 395.1 Subpart A to address Yard Moves. Since that time only minimal guidance has been provided by way of 395.2 Definitions Guidance

Canadian ELD GuideThe FMCSA current proposal is aimed at broadening the existing guidance to provide examples of what qualifies for a Yard Move and what does not. This update would be posted as an update to Question 9 of the 395.2 Definition Guidance.

The posting as well as the link to provide comment can be found at

ORBCOMM will be reviewing and will formulate relevant comments to the proposal. We also encourage customers to provide any relevant comments to the FMCSA regarding this topic. Should you wish to comment, we also encourage you to copy your ORBCOMM Account Manager, and copy me at, so that we can consider your feedback in context of improving the product to make it serve your needs even better in the future.

Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , , , ,

ORBCOMM Supports New DCSA IoT Standard for Refrigerated Container Monitoring On-Board Vessels

Digital Container Shipping AssociationAs a global leader in industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for supply chain assets, cargo and infrastructure, ORBCOMM welcomes the new IoT connectivity interface standards for monitoring refrigerated containers on-board vessels published December 18 by the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA).

Remote visibility and control of refrigerated containers at sea has been a focal point for ORBCOMM for some years now as part of our comprehensive portfolio of IoT telemetry devices and digital platforms that aggregate and integrate IoT data from multiple transport assets.

In 2012, we launched the VesselConnect on-board IoT solution which incorporates maritime GSM technology for a cost-effective, low infrastructure way to remotely monitor and control smart containers and their cargo on-board ships. VesselConnect also allows on-board container data to be shared with shore-based installations via fleet broadband.

New vessel GSM technology enables end-to-end visibility of refrigerated containers transporting temperature-sensitive, high-value cargo at sea.
VesselConnect enables end-to-end visibility of refrigerated containers transporting temperature-sensitive, high-value cargo at sea.

In 2020, we expanded our services still further with the launch of the first commercial LoRa WAN™ solution for on-board container IoT.

ORBCOMM on-board smart container monitoring solutions help deliver end-to-end visibility for maritime cold chain stakeholders, reduce cargo damage and waste, assist with regulatory compliance, and improve safety at sea by reducing the need for crew to manually inspect reefers.

Closing the ‘black hole’ at sea helps operators track their container assets and cargo at every step of the journey, increasing operating efficiency and end-user value with better visibility to cargo status and condition.

A common standard for on-board container IoT is more important today than ever before. As we discussed in a previous blog, in today’s world of container shipping alliances and vessel sharing agreements (VSAs), containers owned by multiple carriers are often carried on a single ship, especially where mega-vessels are concerned.

ReeferConnect IoT telematics solutionAchieving the full value from on-board container IoT and other digital technologies therefore requires open platforms and compatibility with third party equipment and systems. This is certainly what we are seeing at ORBCOMM as clients ask us to integrate and amass data from multiple sources, not least as the basis for more advanced descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Visibility to reefer containers and their cargo while on-board ship is also now more important than ever before both to help manage the current global container availability shortage and to support the expected next wave of covid19 vaccine distribution by sea.

As with previous IoT standards from DCSA, clients using ORBCOMM technology can rest assured that their systems are compliant with the new standard, and that they can continue to benefit from the end-to-end visibility and operational benefits our technology provides. This includes integration into carrier booking and other enterprise systems, as well as augmenting container IoT data with Automatic Identification System (AIS) information for more comprehensive visibility while on the vessel.

Congratulations DCSA on another valuable contribution to advance the cause of digitalization in container shipping and we look forward to continuing our support for your work.

ORBCOMM has over two decades of proven technological experience in supporting stakeholders across the supply chain integrate data for increased end to end visibility. To learn more, visit

About DCSA:

Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) is a neutral, non-profit group founded by major ocean carriers to digitise and standardise the container shipping industry. With the mission of leading the industry towards systematic collaboration, DCSA drives initiatives to make container transportation services transparent, reliable, easy to use, secure and environmentally friendly. DCSA’s open source standards are developed based on input from DCSA member carriers, industry stakeholders and technology experts from other industries. DCSA member carriers include:  MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM and ZIM.

Posted in 3. Maritime / AIS, 6. Networks Tagged with: , ,

COVID-19 Vaccine Transport Logistics: Supporting the (Very) Cold Supply Chain

As big pharma announces the success of experimental COVID-19 vaccines, global distribution of the vaccine is fast approaching, and the sensitive freight will require strict temperature compliance. It means vaccines will need to be transported as cold as -70 degrees Celsius from origin to destination, with no supply chain blind spots or temperature deviations in between.

cold chain telematicsSmart telematics will play a key role in ensuring the integrity of the cold supply chain and can also support critical tracking of vaccine-related freight, including gloves, swabs, syringes and other necessary items to administer doses.

While it was no surprise to them, we have formally announced that ORBCOMM is poised to support our transportation customers in global COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

ORBCOMM’s long-standing leadership in refrigerated telematics, combined with our ability to provide the dual-mode satellite-cellular connectivity necessary to ensure complete visibility and cold chain integrity, makes us uniquely positioned to support this global effort.  

covid-19 vaccine transport
COVID-19 vaccines will need to be transported as cold as -70 degrees Celsius from origin to destination, with no supply chain blind spots or temperature deviations in between. Smart telematics will play a key role.

It’s no surprise then that ORBCOMM has been at the forefront of recent conversations around the safe and reliable transport of COVID-19 vaccine shipments. Our commentary and expert analysis have appeared in the following industry articles:

COVID vaccines, even at -70 Celcius, will need to be trucked around the country
Commercial Carrier Journal
Trucking will play no small role in deploying COVID-19 vaccines around the world. Learn what that entails, and why carriers can count on ORBCOMM.

Pfizer’s vaccine transport requires more than just reefer trucks
Transport Dive
More on vaccine distribution logistics, including how ORBCOMM is uniquely positioned to provide the satellite connectivity required to ensure complete visibility along the cold chain.

Broad supply chain effort, possibly including owner-operators, will be needed to distribute COVID vaccines
24/7 Customs Broker News
A key point in COVID vaccine distribution will be real-time monitoring of temperature control and location, including the ability to react to alarms if vaccine falls outside temperature ranges.

‘Wicked tight’ capacity challenges the vaccine supply chain
Transport Dive
Why more fleets will invest in technology and work toward pharmaceutical compliance given increased demand for vaccine transport.

Today’s announcement is just the beginning. Once the COVID-19 vaccine distribution regulations and guidelines are determined by the regulatory authorities, ORBCOMM expects to work with its customers to address the new requirements for its cold chain solutions, including an increased temperature measurement range.

For more information on cold chain-compliant transport monitoring, contact us at or visit

Posted in 1. Transportation, 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , , , , ,

The Clock is Ticking on Canadian ELD, Download the Definitive Implementation Guide

While June 12, 2021 may feel like a long time in the future, Canadian and cross-border fleets will be acutely aware that it is the date for Canadian ELD mandate compliance. The use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) will be mandatory.  

Fleets should start preparing now for the implementation process. To help your fleet make this transition, regardless of vendor, we have created the Definitive Guide to Canadian ELD Transition. It’s available to download for free here

The Canadian ELD mandate requires Commercial Motor Vehicles to capture hours of service (HOS) information using an electronic logging device, instead of paper records. The mandate aims to increase driver safety by reducing instances of driver fatigue and make record keeping easier, by putting HOS online. Transport Canada estimates that the present value of the benefits is $380.33 million, with an annualized value of nearly $55 million.  

Driver Training at Heart 

In the guide, we share the details of Canadian ELD regulations, what the timeline looks like, and give you a framework for training all stakeholders involved including drivers, office staff and management. The impact of ELDs will be different depending on your role within a fleet. Drivers require training on the ELD itself, driving threshold, yard moves and what they will need to do at roadside inspections. Office staff need to know what is expected of them and how to support drivers. Management will want to know how ELDs will impact KPIs once it goes live and how customers may be affected. There is a lot to think about, which is why this e-Book exists.  

Third-party Certification is Key 

Canadian ELD, in contrast to U.S. ELD, requires third-party certification. The reason for this is to eliminate the possibility of improper use of non-compliant ELDs. In November 2020, ORBCOMM’s U.S. ELD certifier, FPInnovations Pit group became the first third-party organization to certify electronic logging devices. At ORBCOMM, we have been preparing for the third-party certification for some time. 

Cross-Border Challenges 

The Canadian ELD mandate adopted many of the provisions set out in the U.S. ELD technical specifications which took full effect in December 2019. While those drivers may already be familiar with U.S. regulations, Canadian ELD has its own rules to follow. Drivers who cross the border are subject to rules on either side, including, but not limited to rules on Personal Conveyance and transferring HOS at the roadside.  

How ORBCOMM is Preparing 

Interested in talking to ORBCOMM about your fleet’s needs ahead of the Canadian ELD mandate? Our ELD solution is designed specifically for Canadian Fleets incorporating IFTA rules, Canadian HOS rules and multiple integrations. Our ELD solution already serves fleets across the U.S. helping them improve driver retention, boost productivity, and enhance safety and compliance. Request a quote from our team today.  

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

New in Satellite-Cellular Technology: The Programmable ST 9100 for Custom IoT Solutions

The latest in ORBCOMM’s line of next-generation IoT devices, the ST 9100 is the most advanced terminal yet, boasting multi-network connectivity and a flexible programming environment for custom IoT solutions. The ST 9100 is purpose-built for use by ORBCOMM’s vast partner network, enabling them to develop applications in a variety of industries.

Delivering cellular and satellite connectivity, this dual-mode telematics device is designed for monitoring and controlling assets in some of the most remote geographies around the world. The ST 9100 can be used for a wide variety of IoT applications such as vehicle security, fleet management, vessel monitoring, fisheries management as well as the remote monitoring of equipment in the oil & gas, construction and utilities sectors.

The ST 9100 is designed to be future proof. On cellular networks, the terminal has 4G LTE capabilities, along with 3G and 2G fallback. The satellite network provides low-latency connectivity that is cost-effective, reliable and ubiquitous. The ST 9100 comes with an ORBCOMM Global SIM, which provides access to over 565 cellular networks, allowing solution providers to deploy solutions with this device in nearly any region of the world. There is also a secondary IoT SIM card slot for bring-your-own-SIM solutions.

The device also comes with a long-lasting backup battery, which allows for uninterrupted operation when an external power failure has occurred, for a minimum of 48 hours for reliability and performance. The device is enhanced with inputs, outputs and serial interfaces, onboard memory as well as a dual CANbus that allows customers to monitor and control different electronic control units over various protocols. A ruggedized, environmentally sealed enclosure allows the ST 9100 to withstand extreme temperatures, shock and vibration and is rated to IP67 for ingress protection.

A Bluetooth 5.0 connection enables the integration of a variety of sensors for any solution, including door, temperature, identification and more. Using mobile applications, users can also visualize key data from the field or send messages from mobile devices through the device via Bluetooth. Technicians can use their device in the field for wirelessly configuring, troubleshooting and ensuring that devices are properly installed and functioning.

The ST 9100 uses the Lua framework, allowing solution providers to create custom applications for a variety of industries. This allows easy customization of any IoT solution, and ORBCOMM also provides out-of-the-box terminal apps that help accelerate solution development, allowing solution providers to get to market faster. ORBCOMM further supports partners with a comprehensive development kit that includes hardware, software development tools, documentation, accessories and support to write and test IoT solutions and facilitate deployment.

Five Reasons to Choose the ST 9100 for an IoT solution

1. Accelerated time to market

The ST 9100 offers a flexible programming environment that supports the development of custom solutions, as well as support for ORBCOMM configurable terminal apps. Get to market faster with an easy-to-use programming framework, allowing significant flexibility in developing a solution.

2. Deep Integration

Numerous inputs and outputs and Bluetooth connectivity allow extensive integration and flexible solution development. Multiple SIM slots provide a variety of cellular connectivity options.

3. More Flexibility

Use cellular or automatically switch between cellular and satellite connectivity to keep costs low. Whether tracking assets in remote regions or monitoring in congested cellular areas, flexible connectivity options allow least-cost routing and reliable backup.

4. Reliable Operation

Never lose sight of assets again. The ST 9100 features a backup battery that enables reporting for more than 48 hours with 1-minute cellular reporting or 60-minute satellite reporting when power is interrupted.

5. Environmental Protection

The ruggedized device is rated for IP67 ingress protection, ensuring operation in the harshest environments on land and at sea. Multiple configurations allow for flexible installation options.

For more information on the ST 9100, download the datasheet here. To partner with us, or to find a partner in your area, email us at

Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , ,

Next-Generation, Global IoT Service: Video Interview with ORBCOMM & Inmarsat CEOs

A new video interview was just released with Marc Eisenberg, Chief Executive Officer of ORBCOMM, and Rupert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer of Inmarsat, to expand upon their enhanced partnership announced last week. The interview is hosted by satellite industry expert Tim Farrar, President of TMF Associates. Watch it here: 

The next phase of ORBCOMM and Inmarsat’s partnership extends their agreement to provide L-band satellite service through 2035 at a minimum. ORBCOMM and Inmarsat will also collaborate on a next-generation, global IoT service called OGx to offer the best-in-class combination of high bandwidth data packets with low-cost terminals, which is expected to hit the market in 2022. In addition, Inmarsat will distribute ORBCOMM’s portfolio of OGx telematics devices globally through its extensive commercial and government sales channels as well as ORBCOMM’s end-to-end IoT solutions for end user customers in multiple vertical markets.  

By extending this long-term, successful partnership ORBCOMM and Inmarsat can leverage their synergies to continue to deliver the industry’s best satellite offering with the broadest geographic coverage, the most regulatory authorizations and the best value to an even broader customer base around the world.

To learn more, read the full press release.

Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: ,

Canadian ELD Update: ORBCOMM’s U.S. ELD Certifier Achieves Transport Canada Accreditation

There has been a big step forward this week for the third-party certification process that is needed to support the Canadian ELD mandate coming in June 2021.

Transport Canada has announced that FPInnovations, a Canadian research centre, has been accredited as the first third-party organization to certify electronic logging devices.  FPInnovations’ PIT Group already has an active program that tests ELDs in the United States focused on the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements.

ORBCOMM is no stranger to third-party ELD testing or to the FPInnovations (PIT Group). In July 2019, ORBCOMM became part of an elite group of ELD providers in the United States when its fleet management solution received third-party ELD certification. The solution was independently verified by FPInnovations (PIT Group) to be fully compliant with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This required passing 314 technical points of thorough, unbiased testing by the PIT Group.

ORBCOMM is currently preparing our Canadian ELD product for certification and we anticipate it will be ready well before the 2021 deadline. Our ELD for the United States is already available in a French-Canadian language version and North American cross-border carrier customers are leveraging it to help fleets with their French-speaking drivers.

According to Transport Canada’s recently amended Commercial Vehicle Hours of Service Regulation, ELDs for use in Canada must be verified and certified by an accredited third-party Certification Body as compliant with the Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices. To qualify as an accredited Certification Body, FPInnovations has demonstrated compliance with the International Organization for Standardization standard ISO/ICE 17065, its expertise in testing ELDs and the validity of the results of that methodology. FPInnovations will launch its ELD certification program this fall.

FPInnovations employs more than 430 people. With R&D laboratories located in Montréal, Quebec City, and Vancouver, it has technology transfer offices across Canada.

For more information about Canadian ELD, contact us at

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

Queen Transportation Yields Significant Savings with ORBCOMM ELD

“In the first year, the ORBCOMM in-cab solution led to an estimated $25,000 in Hours of Service compliance and administrative time savings” – Daniel Queen, Vice President, Queen Transportation.

North Carolina-based Queen Transportation yields significant savings with ORBCOMM’s Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance and Telematics suite. Previously, poor in-cab devices caused suffering for the company, as drivers struggled with connectivity and couldn’t complete their electronic HOS logs. Now, Queen Transportation not only saves money but also gains further value through automated workflow, optimized fleet management and better driver productivity, thanks to insights across the operation.  

Why Queen Transportation Chose ORBCOMM
ORBCOMM’s in-cab hardware, integrated cloud-based analytics and reporting platform delivers unparalleled connectivity resulting in better fleet management, streamlined workflow and happier drivers. Today, Queen uses ORBCOMM to better manage their fleet, streamline operations and save money.

Increased Efficiency with Better In-cab Solutions
Poor connectivity was costing Queen Transportation’s fleet time and money. With diminishing connections on their older tablet-based solutions, drivers had to resort to time-consuming paper logs to track their HOS. The solution automates HOS calculations through ORBCOMM’s ELD making it far easier to use and ensuring drivers can continue to do what they do best: drive. “ORBCOMM immediately addressed the connectivity issues we were having with tablet-based systems and the frustration our drivers were experiencing,” says Daniel Queen, Vice President at Queen Transportation.

Enhancing Driver Performance
The ORBCOMM solution gives Queen Transportation valuable driver performance scoring insights. It supplies live, on-board performance scoring results to drivers (and the back-office). The information and scoring help to correct unsafe driver behaviors. A color-coded scoring system shows where drivers can improve, and this can be delivered by fleet managers showing examples of where poor behavior occurred. The driver is scored in 26 categories including idling, harsh braking, over-speeding and harsh acceleration and deceleration.

Key Integrations That Deliver Benefits
Queen didn’t lose an ounce of data thanks to ORBCOMM’s extensive integrations. ORBCOMM integrates with McLeod Software’s transportation management and workflow application. ORBCOMM’s partnership with Drivewyze PreClear Weigh Station Bypass helps to minimize driver stops.

To learn more, download the case study or schedule a demo today.

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , , ,

How Africa Wildlife Tracking Leverages Satellite IoT to Prevent Poaching: Case Study

You can understand, especially now, the emphasis is on anti-poaching. You need a reliable unit that will report regularly. If you don’t get a report, you know there’s something wrong. If you have a unit which can’t send through trees and forests, you’re not getting good data back.” – Martin Haupt, Africa Wildlife Tracking. 

Africa Wildlife Tracking (AWT), the leader in tracking wildlife sees significant advantages with ORBCOMM’s IoT solutions. Using GPS tracking and monitoring, ruggedised hardware and robust connectivity, the company, with a passion for the conservation of the natural environment, works with governments, conservation organizations, universities and game reserves to address poaching, monitor and protect animals.  

Creating a Hub for Wildlife Monitoring
AWT uses a range of technology to monitor animals of all sizes. It uses RFID transmitters, attached to small animals like wild dogs, cheetahs or turtles. Modified units sit in elephant collars transforming them into communication hubs, transmitting the RF data to researchers and conservationists, who can then extrapolate and make observations on the information. This data gives the bigger picture. While poaching can be hard to predict, the collars help to identify incidents where animals are under threat, what areas can be hazardous and where habitat loss is impacting animal migrations.  

Hardware as Tough as its Surroundings
Monitoring wildlife is not easy. There is a significant cost associated with placing a collar on an elephant, or indeed any other animal. It requires a team which includes handlers, vets and in some cases helicopter support. The animals live in remote areas including dense forests, deserts, and jungles. ORBCOMM has worked through these challenges with AWT and together, have it down to a fine art. Longevity and ruggedization of hardware are vital pieces of the puzzle. “If you work in Gabon, you work on foot. To put 50 collars on in Gabon is not an easy task. It’s working, it’s vets on the ground, it’s mud and water.” says Haupt. 

Addressing Challenges Today
While monitoring poaching is of primary concern, COVID-19 has become a particular issue in the protection of wildlife in recent times. With the new threat of the global pandemic, some of the wild animals that AWT tracks are now in danger of being hunted as a food source. Haupt says: I think poaching will pick up drastically here in Africa, it’s a question of food. We need to do something, and if we don’t do it now, we’re not going to have a lot of the endangered animals like rhino, elephant, things like that. They’re going to disappear.”  

Why Africa Wildlife Tracking Chose ORBCOMM
ORBCOMM’s robust satellite connectivity is critical to AWT’s tracking and monitoring. Working with ORBCOMM’s state-of-the-art satellite modems, AWT delivers vital conservation data and helps to prevent poaching throughout Africa. The ruggedized and highly reliable IoT devices can withstand the tough environments where these animals live. Combined, all of these elements help AWT to stay one step ahead of poachers.  

Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , , , ,

Sign Up for Updates


Follow Us

ORBCOMM on Twitter