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Dutch Ministry of Defence Deploys Globalstar SPOT Gen4 to Track and Provide Safety for Paratroopers

By Eric Van Rees - 4th February 2022 - 10:11

Globalstar Europe Satellite Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar, announces that the Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) has deployed 120 SPOT Gen4 satellite GPS messengers to track and provide safety for paratroopers.

The Dutch MoD carried out extensive testing and trials of SPOT Gen4. The device proved to be the ideal solution for the MoD’s needs, and capable of delivering superior, reliable performance in all the highly challenging contexts which paratroopers face.

Niels is an instructor at the Dutch Defense Paratrooper School (DPS) and is Safety & Quality Manager. “In the places where we do our skydiving training, in remote mountainous and desert locations worldwide, conventional telecoms networks cannot be relied on,” Niels shares. “So we knew that we required a solution based on satellite technology.”

Other technologies and solutions were trialed and evaluated. For example, four years ago, the organisation procured GPS trackers from another provider. These used 3G telecom technology however, and very soon were dismissed as unable to provide sufficient coverage and reliability.

Facing extremes in terrain and temperature

It is essential for operational teams that SPOT Gen4 performs flawlessly in very extreme conditions. Paratrooper training is gruelling and inherently dangerous. Military personnel engage in exercises which see them jumping from aircraft any time of day or night, in any climate, with full military kit. Skydive jumps in darkness require the addition of night vision equipment to the service person’s necessary gear.

The Netherlands’ paratroopers undergo training internationally in a wide range of challenging operational environments. Skydiving exercises are conducted in the rugged mountains of Switzerland, France and elsewhere in Europe as well as locations throughout the North American Rockies. Training for desert operations takes place across the expansive plains of Arizona and California as well as in Europe, all remote locations where conventional terrestrial communications networks can’t reliably reach.

Read More: Satellite Positioning Defence

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