We are in hurricane season once again. After a devastating 2017, the Atlantic is having a quieter season this year so far, but the Pacific has already seen its 12th named storm, Hurricane Lane, with more to come. Wildfire season has blown through all records in North America and Europe. Then there are the disasters that know no season: earthquakes and tidal waves, drought, famine and the never-ending scourge of war. We can do little to stop them – but there is so much we can do to lessen their impact and reduce the loss of life. We dedicate this issue to governments, nonprofits and companies that do the hard work of disaster prevention, response and recovery every day, and to the technologies that help save lives and restore livings around the world.
Globecomm has become a supporter of the United Nations’ Crisis Connectivity Charter, adding turnkey resources and funding scholarships for training of first responders. Under the charter, global satellite operators will pre-position terminal equipment at UN facilities in Europe, the Middle East and Central America and train the staff of NGOs and governments in its use. The goal is to ensure that, when disaster strikes, no time is wasted in shipping, training or gaining capacity on satellite networks. Communications is of vital important in assessing disasters, planning response, managing onsite teams, and restoring government, company and civilian operations.
Globecomm is funding scholarships for GVF-developed training for users in a wide range of terminal equipment, from satellite phones and data units to VSAT terminals providing much greater capacity. Globecomm will also make available its ReliefSAT technology, a turnkey service and equipment solution for rapid deployment and restoral of communications on the ground. Connecting to Globecomm VSAT iDirect, it offers a high-performance service with plug-and-play terminals for internet, voice and video. ReliefSAT is one part of Globecomm’s disaster-recovery-as-a-service solutions.
Responsibility for the US Government’s response to international disasters rests with the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), part of USAID. Responsibility for making sure OFDA is ready to go when disaster strikes rests, in part, with Globecomm.
OFDA’s mission requires a streamlined day-to-day operational capacity – but the ability to respond fast and effectively to disasters anywhere in the world. In other words, OFDA needs to the ability to get from zero to sixty and back again in the least possible time. To help make that possible, Globecomm developed an Operations Center in Arlington, Virginia. It provides warehousing and deployment of information and communications technology, and is staffed by Globecomm operational teams who are ready on 30 minutes’ notice to support workstations, laptops, iPhones, Blackberries and applications for all OFDA staff and contractors.
When a disaster is declared, Globecomm’s Communications Officer quickly assembles a detailed plan that includes the landscape of the disaster area, its infrastructure, and available communications, power, transportation, security and housing. The plan determines the deployment of equipment and staff assignments. The Operations Center maintains enough equipment to support eight concurrent disaster response and management teams, plus ongoing individual deployments of OFDA personnel. Globecom’s field support teams are ready for deployment on four hours’ notice.
In new podcasts produced by the Space & Satellite Professionals International for Globecomm, executives share the secrets of fast, effective response to disaster, and the little appreciated contribution that satellite connectivity makes to everything from disaster management to social media. Listen to them on the SSPI website, the ITunes Store or Spotify.
After Disaster, a Little Satellite Goes a Long Way
Featuring Globecomm executives Dwight Hunsicker and Michele Scotto.
VSATS and Disaster Recovery
Featuring Global VSAT Forum secretary general David Hartshorn.
In its last fiscal year, which ended on June 30, Globecomm posted new orders valued at over $215 million for products and services used by governments, telecommunication carriers, business, oil and gas and the media. Globecomm’s new projects for the U.S. government include fixed and transportable satellite communication (SATCOM) terminals as well as VSAT broadcast and wireless services for disaster recovery, military and civilian operation.
As the industry prepares for the rollout of 5G, Globecomm has experienced an increased demand for its cellular backhaul services. The company’s award-winning Internet of Things (“IoT”) Platform for asset tracking solutions has also gained traction within the maritime and oil and gas markets. The company recently sold 10,000 tracking devices in the energy market and expects large multiples in the future where opportunities exist for hundreds of thousands of assets that need tracking.
AIDF Global Disaster Relief
September 5-6, Washington DC
Anglo German Club
September 5, Hamburg
Electra Mining 2018
September 10-14, Johannesburg
International Ship Owning and Ship Management Summit
September 11, London
September 19-21, San Antonio, Texas
CCMA National Convention
September 22-25, Savannah, Georgia
Globecomm – Recipient of the world’s first Better Satellite World Award.