Portsmouth, New Hampshire (3 May 2006) – Global Relief Technologies (GRT) is teaming with GeoEye Inc., the world’s largest commercial provider of satellite imagery, and Telenor Satellite Services to deliver timely satellite imagery to emergency relief workers operating in remote and often dangerous areas around the world.
The initiative to bring this technology to humanitarian and relief workers is being championed by former Air Force General and founding director of the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI or “Star Wars”), James Abrahamson, a member of the Global Relief Technologies Board of Directors.
“Humanitarian and emergency response organizations’ demand for satellite imagery has persisted from one crisis to another; through the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Tsunami-impacted area of the Indian Ocean, and even in the response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster,” Abrahamson said. “Facilitating the delivery of map-accurate satellite imagery is of critical importance to emergency workers since it provides a common operating picture that is invaluable to relief operations — and to those running them.”
Michael Gray, CEO of Global Relief Technologies, said, “Global Relief Technologies has created a Web-based technology that integrates all the pieces including satellite communications and imagery, rapid data collection software and GIS tools. Our ultimate aim is to empower field workers with the ability to rapidly collect and move time sensitive data from the field to decision makers and to ensure that field operators get timely information, while on the move if necessary, that can support their operations no matter where they are located.”
With the launch of Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service, Telenor Satellite Services provides a new and significantly improved mobile satellite communications capability that can move large amounts of imagery data to customers operating around the globe. “Telenor works very closely with GRT to integrate our mobile satellite communications capabilities with other technologies, including satellite imagery, with the aim of supporting humanitarian operations around the world,” said Britt Carina Horncastle, president of Telenor Satellite Services Holdings, Inc.
For years, emergency workers and international relief organizations have requested timely satellite imagery of areas in which they are operating. Gray noted that when NATO forces moved into Kosovo in 1999 to provide security and relief to Kosovar Albanians, relief workers lined up outside a small trailer to get a glimpse of imagery provided by the U.S. government of areas destroyed by conflict. The imagery available in that case was viewable on a single light-table and for only one individual at a time.
Bill Wilt, GeoEye Senior Vice President Domestic Sales and Mission Support, said “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Global Relief Technologies on these critical humanitarian activities, and we look forward to demonstrating our support to their effort.”
Abrahamson believes that recent events including the privatization of government satellite communications and imagery services coupled with significant advances in the technology have now put timely satellite imagery within the reach of humanitarian and relief organizations. “Working with GRT, we can now obtain imagery rapidly, and in some cases within just a few hours, process the data in a way that it can be transmitted by cellular, internet or satellite communications to the internet, desktop and laptop computers and even hand-held PDAs.”
“All the pieces are coming together to create one complete end-to-end solution that will seamlessly transmit critical data to relief workers just about anywhere in the world,” Gray added.
About Global Relief Technologies
Global Relief Technologies LLC was founded in March 2003 to provide clients in the humanitarian and reconstruction communities with a secure, integrated solution that ensures more effective response to, and management of, global crisis situations. GRT products are services are also employed by Raytheon Integrated Defense Services and the U.S. Marine Corps. The company is headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with its principal Sales and Marketing presence located in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
About Telenor Satellite Services
Telenor Satellite Services, Inc. is the Rockville, Maryland-based mobile satellite services subsidiary of Norwegian telecommunications corporation Telenor ASA, listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (TEL) and NASDAQ (TELN).
Headquartered in Dulles, Va., GeoEye is the world’s largest commercial satellite imagery company, delivering the highest-quality, most accurate imagery and products to better map, measure, monitor and manage the world. The company is the premier provider of geospatial data, information and value-added products for the national security community, strategic partners, resellers and commercial customers.