Inmarsat plc is a British satellite telecommunications company, offering global mobile services. It provides telephone and data services to users worldwide, via portable or mobile terminals which communicate to ground stations through eleven geostationary telecommunications satellites. Inmarsat's network provides communications services to a range of governments, aid agencies, media outlets and businesses with a need to communicate in remote regions or where there is no reliable terrestrial network. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index as of December 2011 and a financial sponsor of Télécoms Sans Frontières. Wikipedia.
Miller P.I.,Plymouth Marine Laboratory |
Christodoulou S.,Plymouth Marine Laboratory |
Marine Policy | Year: 2014
Frequent locations of thermal fronts in UK shelf seas were identified using an archive of 30,000 satellite images acquired between 1999 and 2008, and applied as a proxy for pelagic diversity in the designation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Networks of MPAs are required for conservation of critical marine habitats within Europe, and there are similar initiatives worldwide. Many pelagic biodiversity hotspots are related to fronts, for example cetaceans and basking sharks around the Isle of Man, Hebrides and Cornwall, and hence remote sensing can address this policy need in regions with insufficient species distribution data. This is the first study of UK Continental Shelf front locations to use a 10-year archive of full-resolution (1.1. km) AVHRR data, revealing new aspects of their spatial and seasonal variability. Frontal locations determined at sea or predicted by ocean models agreed closely with the new frequent front maps, which also identified many additional frontal zones. These front maps were among the most widely used datasets in the recommendation of UK MPAs, and would be applicable to other geographic regions and to other policy drivers such as facilitating the deployment of offshore renewable energy devices with minimal environmental impact. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Inmarsat | Date: 2010-04-02
A method of monitoring at least one beam of a satellite, the at least one beam being directed at a body around which the satellite orbits, the method comprising monitoring the at least one beam using a monitoring satellite which orbits around the body.
News Article | August 26, 2016
Since early 2015, over a dozen UK companies have been granted licenses to export powerful telecommunications interception technology to countries around the world, Motherboard has learned. Many of these exports include IMSI-catchers, devices which can monitor large numbers of mobile phones over broad areas. Some of the UK companies were given permission to export their products to authoritarian states such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Egypt; countries with poor human rights records that have been well-documented to abuse surveillance technology. “At a time when the use of these surveillance tools is still highly controversial in the UK, it is completely unacceptable that companies are allowed to export the same equipment to countries with atrocious human rights records or which lack rule of law altogether. There is absolutely a clear risk that these products can be used for repression and abuses,” Edin Omanovic, research officer at Privacy International, told Motherboard in an email. In 2015, the UK's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) started publishing basic data about the exportation of telecommunications interception devices. Through the Freedom of Information Act, Motherboard obtained the names of companies that have applied for exportation licenses, as well as details on the technologies being shipped, including, in some cases, individual product names. The companies include a subsidiary of defense giant BAE Systems, as well as Pro-Solve International, ComsTrac, CellXion, Cobham, and Domo Tactical Communications (DTC). Many of these companies sell IMSI-catchers. IMSI-catchers, sometimes known as “Stingrays” after a particularly popular brand, are fake cell phone towers which force devices in their proximity to connect. In the data obtained by Motherboard, 33 licenses are explicitly marked as being for IMSI-catchers, including for export to Turkey and Indonesia. Other listings heavily suggest the export of IMSI-catchers too: one granted application to export to Iraq is for a “Wideband Passive GSM Monitoring System,” which is a more technical description of what many IMSI-catchers do. IMSI-catchers typically extract the phone SIM card's unique identifying number, or IMSI, but many models are capable of more powerful surveillance techniques as well. Cobham, which has been granted at least one license, advertises IMSI-catchers that can be used to intercept SMS messages and voice calls from mobile phones. “IMSI catchers are probably one of the most controversial and yet more demanded pieces of surveillance technology marketed today. They are of dubious legality and their use raises serious ethical and privacy concerns due to their invasiveness and wide reach,” Claudio Guarnieri, technologist at Amnesty International told Motherboard in an online chat. Some of the other export licenses for IMSI-catchers are marked as “temporary.” According to the Department for International Trade, which processed the Freedom of Information Request, this means the product has to be returned to the UK within one year. These licenses might be used for transferring equipment to be exhibited at a surveillance trade fair, or demoed to a potential client. A temporary license was granted for the export of an IMSI-catcher to Pakistan. In all, Motherboard received entries for 148 export license applications, from February 2015 to April 2016. A small number of the named companies do not provide interception capabilities, but defensive measures, for example to monitor the radio spectrum. The list of companies provided by the Department for International Trade For a few licenses, the department withheld product descriptions, saying their disclosure would harm commercial interests. The department declined to link any of the companies to specific license applications, but in some cases the data provides enough information to make a clear connection. For example, two temporary licenses are for “DNA Tracker,” a product made by Megablue Technologies Limited. DNA Tracker can not only track phones’ locations by their IMSI numbers, but also devices such as laptops through their individual MAC addresses. The data includes two successful license applications for temporary export of the product to China and Kuwait. The company's website suggests the gear could be deployed in airports, or for crowd monitoring and property protection. In another example, licenses refer to Marlin, a product made by TRL Technology Limited that can intercept calls made on the IsatPhone, Inmarsat and Thuraya satellite phone networks. According to the export data, permanent export licenses for Marlin were granted for Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Turkey and Vietnam (a license for export to Ethiopia was refused). A TRL Technology Limited Brochure showing the Marlin system, which is used for targeting various satellite phone networks. Image: Surveillance Industry Index Many of the countries that may have received products included in the export data have a history of abusing surveillance technology. Turkey framed a journalist using malware; the United Arab Emirates repeatedly spied on an activist, and the government of Saudi Arabia is suspected of hacking political targets. “As we learn time and time again, countries with bad human rights records often keep utilizing interception technology to perpetrate even more abuses and suppress dissent. British and European companies by now should very well know the risks involved in enabling and empowering some oppressive governments. Therefore it is imperative that companies as well as licensing authorities appropriately evaluate human rights implications when making business decisions,” Amnesty International’s Guarnieri said. Nick Haigh, external communications manager for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, told Motherboard in an email, “It is against our policy to comment on contracts with specific countries or customers. BAE Systems works for a number of organisations around the world, within the regulatory frameworks of all relevant countries and within our own responsible trading principles.” All of the other companies linked to the interception tech exports did not respond to questions on which customers or countries they would sell to. A spokesperson from the Department for International Trade told Motherboard in an email that, “The UK government takes its arms export responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We rigorously examine every application on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National arms export licensing Criteria. We draw on all available information, including reports from NGOs and our overseas network as a key part of our assessment.” Export licensing requires the department to consider how the equipment will be used by the recipient country. The export dataset can be found here.
News Article | February 16, 2016
Australia is taking shark detection matters seriously as the NSW government started testing Clever Buoy off Sydney's Bondi Beach. Clever Buoy is a system that is said to detect marine animals and send signals to lifeguards on the shore via an app on their smartphones. Scientists and researchers may also be updated as real-time data may be shared via a Google+ platform. Clever Buoy is designed by Western Australian company Shark Mitigation Systems and uses Optus Inmarsat satellite for data transfer to lifeguards and Optus 4G mobile network as backup data storage in case of satellite and network problems. Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair says eight of the devices will be tested along the NSW coastline and two have already been placed at Lighthouse Beach and Sharpes Beach. "This is a pre-commercial trial of new technology to detect sharks in Sydney," he says. No specific technology in the world has been able to detect sharks accurately. With this, the developers created a technique that particularly looks for sharks' unique movements to ensure accuracy. The Clever Buoy software uses a technology similar to facial recognition such that it becomes more efficient with repeated correct detection. The more the device gets to know the details of sharks' swimming patterns, the higher its accuracy rate becomes. Clever Buoy will be placed in every beach. The setup goes like this: multiple sonar heads lying on the seabed are linked to one buoy. The number of sonar heads is based on the size and shape of the beach. The sonar heads form a full perimeter by overlapping each one and placing it in an angled projection. Clever Buoy then begins to work once the sonar head is attached to the seabed. The device detects objects that measure 2 meters or longer within a radius of 300 meters. "The reason we made it two metres is because history of shark attacks around the world tells us that with anything less than two metres you're unlikely to die," says Craig Anderson, one of the founders of Shark Mitigation Systems. Clever Buoy is part of NSW's $16 million shark strategy, which was rolled out on Oct. 25, 2015. Aside from Clever Buoy, the government move also includes enhanced aerial surveillance of sharks, shark meshing programs and a 4G system that detects tagged sharks.
News Article | June 16, 2015
Shola Taylor, a Nigerian citizen has been appointed secretary-general of the London-based Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) effective September 17th this year. Mr Taylor brings over 35 years of global experience in ICTs with government and the private sector and currently runs Kemilinks International, an ICT consultancy firm based in Lagos. “I have accepted this challenge to make a positive contribution towards improved access to ICTs for all. I look forward to working closely with the CTO’s members, the Secretariat staff and other stakeholders, to ensure that the CTO remains the preferred partner for sustainable ICT development for all its members.” Mr Taylor said in a statement after his appointment. With a BSc in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of East London (UK, 1979) and an MSc in telecommunication systems from the University of Essex (UK, 1981), Taylor was a regional director for Africa at Inmarsat (1994 – 1999), space technology coordinator for developing countries at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU, 1993 – 1994) and project director, also at the ITU (1987 – 1993). He has been twice elected as a member of the ITU’s Radio Regulations Board (vice-chair in 2004, and chair in 2005) andearlier in his career he worked in telecommunication engineering, including as senior engineer at Nigerian Telecommunications (1981 – 1985) and spectrum engineer at Intelsat (1985 – 1987). He is said to have developed a strong interest in the use of ICTs in sustainable development and has supported many governments in their development agenda for ICTs. Secretaries-general of the Organisation are appointed for four-year terms. Previous heads of the prestigious organisation include outgoing secretary-general Professor Tim Unwin (UK), preceded by then chief executive officers Ekwow Spio-Garbrah (Ghana) and Dr David Souter (UK).