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Sat Tracking Protects News Crews In High Risk Areas

Satamatics ( has supplied its tracking and tracing technology to U.K.-based Integrated Communications Solutions (ICS) (, for monitoring the location of news crews working in high-risk locations. ICS deployed its first Satamatics systems for CBS News units covering news in Iraq, enabling the exact position of the units to be tracked at regular intervals by satellite. The systems were fitted to an armored vehicle carrying a CBS News crew from Jordan to Baghdad just after the city's fall. CBS News also used the Satamatics systems to track satellite uplink vehicles.

In view of the risks involved with news crews operating in war zones, CBS News took the decision to install the tracking systems on vehicles whose progress would be impossible or impractical to follow by other methods. The Satamatics system transmitted regular position reports, with the data made available for viewing over the Internet-- by password-protected access -- via the TracerLink mapping, tracking, and messaging service ( This facility enabled senior management at CBS News to keep a close watch on their crews' progress as they crossed Iraq.

With an integrated GPS receiver, the Satamatics terminal can provide scheduled location reports accurate to within a few meters, and it can also be programmed to send a message when a particular condition has been met or exceeded. This ability enables warning messages to be sent when a location has been reached or when the vehicle has moved outside a pre-determined area. A panic-button-operated alert messaging facility can also be pre-programmed with a choice of messages to cover various emergency situations. Typical messages can include: "We are being arrested at gunpoint," and "One of our team has been injured, please send urgent assistance."