TDCOM, the Vizada Networks specialist events division has made a name for itself by supplying the communications and tracking to some of the most high profile sporting and rallying events in the world…
From a daring balloon crossing of the Polar ice cap, to the grueling two wheeled action of Tour De France, Marathon des sables and Titan Desert MTB Marathon, to the adrenaline fuelled Dakar Rally, Vizada Networks’ specialist events division, TDCOM has provided satellite tracking and communication to some of the world’s toughest sporting events and challenges.
“We have developed a number of systems for different tracking applications, including vehicle and goods tracking, such as that used during set-up of the huge Nature Capitale event held in Paris this May, which essentially turned the Champs Elysee into one giant garden,” comments Patrick Gibassier, VP Sales and Marketing, TDCOM. “However, we also do a huge amount of work within more extreme events using our in-house developed Iritrack solution, which has recently been approved by Iridium.”
De facto standard
Iritrack was originally designed to allow the tracking and the security of vehicles partaking in rallies. It uses an interfaced mobile phone to provide GPS location and voice functionality and the Iridium network of 66 low orbit satellites for high availability of communications regardless of location.
It has now become the de facto standard for every vehicle taking part in rallies because it answers the demand for precise location of the participants and their security. Iritrack saves the GPS position of the mobile phone, with an adjustable frequency running from 1 second to 20 hours, and stores them into its internal memory. The system can send these positions either live or by packets at an adjustable frequency to the Iritrack software, which can display the vehicle or participants position on a map.
Because Iritrack is interfaced to a mobile phone, it can be pre-configured to call a specific number with a simple press of a button, in case of emergency. It also features a shock detector, which will send an alert containing the vehicle’s current position if it records a violent impact, which can be vital should the occupants of a vehicle be incapacitated following an accident.
If the position does not change after 90 seconds, the system automatically sends another alert, whilst an inclinometer will cause Iritrack to send an alert should the vehicle be at an abnormal angle, for instance upside down after a roll. This is backed up by an audio call so operators can check with the vehicle occupants to find out if they are ok.
“We are well known for our work in the world of Rallying, having provided Iritrack and other services for the Dakar Rally, Tunisian Rally, Rallye des Gazelles (Morocco), Shamrock Rally (Morocco), UAE Desert Challenge, Baja 500 and Baja 1000,” says Patrick.
“Iritrack provides precise, reliable tracking for the entire race and organisation fleet, which is visible on maps for the organiser and can be opened up to race followers. It also provides security via the alarm and alert buttons and voice functionality. Alongside Iritrack though, we also provide telecommunications and IT services such as MSS or VSAT so the action from the field can be reported on and broadcast to the fans,” concludes Patrick.