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Globalstar Solutions to Monitor Fleets and Safeguard Oil Industry Workers in Tunisia

Globalstar 2nd generation satellite; Courtesy: Thales Alenia Space
Globalstar 2nd generation satellite; Courtesy: Thales Alenia Space

Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd has announced three contract wins in the North African oil industry. These new customers have chosen to deploy iVMS (Integrated Vehicle Monitoring System) from Tunisian Globalstar partner, Virtual Mobile Data (VMD). iVMS switches seamlessly between Globalstar’s simplex satellite network and the land-based GSM/GPRS network to ensure the safety of people and equipment even in the most remote areas.

VMD worked with local technology partner, Neuron Technology Systems (NTS), to design iVMS, which switches automatically to simplex satellite communications when the GSM network becomes unreliable or if a GPRS transmission fails for any reason.

In VMD’s most recent deployment, a Ukrainian oil services company is using 30 iVMS devices, which incorporate Globalstar’s SmartOne B simplex tracker, to help its oil exploration and production customers monitor their vehicle fleets and safeguard staff across Tunisia. The devices monitor vehicles used for transporting heavy engineering equipment, including scientific engines for seismic measurement, as well as monitoring vehicles used to transport personnel.

Satellite View of Tunisia
Satellite View of Tunisia

Early in 2016, a Tunisian civil works contractor, Kilani Enterprise for Public Works, deployed iVMS to track its fleet of 4×4 vehicles, for better fleet security and to help monitor driver behaviour. iVMS gives Kilani Entreprise the precise location of its fleet as well as transmitting engine data which indicates driver performance such as sudden braking or unexpected acceleration.

In addition, Kilani Enterprise has been using Globalstar’s SPOT handheld devices since 2013 as its only means of safeguarding staff carrying out operations in southern Tunisia’s vast desert.

In a third recent iVMS deployment, VMD integrated SmartOne B transmitters with GPRS devices from another local reseller, MYCOM, for a Tunisian services company whose support for oil industry firms includes providing equipment, transportation, site maintenance and staff services. The company is using 56 iVMS devices to track transporters and containers carrying mechanical and oil rig equipment used in petroleum production and refining.

VMD customised solutions for all three deployments by adding a one-touch SOS button onto the drivers’ dashboards which alerts the respective companies’ in-house security teams if anyone is in danger, requires emergency medical help or if the intervention of security forces is needed. This level of always-on connectivity is an essential security measure in the remote regions in which oil operations take place. iVMS integration with VMD’s own partner platform enables security notifications to be sent via email, SMS or other means.

VMD integrated an SOS button in the Globalstar based asset tracking solution
VMD integrated an SOS button in the Globalstar based asset tracking solution

For all three wins, VMD’s Globalstar-based solution was selected after a thorough evaluation of other technologies and was chosen because its reliability, affordability and network coverage.

VMD decided to put Globalstar’s SmartOne B simplex asset manager at the heart of its dual-technology communications solution because of its dependability, long battery life and ability to automatically switch between battery and line-power as required. SmartOne uses motion sensors and comparative GPS positions to gather and transmit asset status information over Globalstar’s satellite constellation, the only complete next generation mobile satellite network in orbit today.

Jamel Hajji, Sales & Marketing Manager at VMD, said: “As oil exploration and production once again starts growing in Africa, providers of logistics and other support services are being called upon to work in more and more remote regions. Knowing the location of assets 24/7, and safeguarding personnel as they transit to and from remote oil operations sites, is essential.”

“The operational challenges posed by inadequate GSM coverage in the regions where oil is extracted are compounded by remote, inhospitable terrain, and additional security risks,” commented Karim Chagra, Health Safety Security Environment (HSSE) Manager with Kilani Entreprise for Public Works. “Thanks to the expertise and support of VMD and Globalstar, we have a cost-effective and capable tracking and monitoring system that enables us to work more efficiently and securely.”

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