Tlcoms Sans Frontires receives Eutelsat-equipped Nissan vehicle
February 11th, 2008

Tlcoms Sans Frontires (TSF) has received from Nissan Europe and Eutelsat a 44 vehicle fully equipped with a satellite communications centre. The vehicle and its equipment will ensure TSFs prompt mobilisation at disaster sites in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and will enable TSF to strengthen its response to emergency situations.

Represented by TSFs President, Jean-Franois Cazenave, the handover took place at Eutelsats Paris headquarters. The initiative was piloted by 3i3s, an international institute dedicated to global airspace and applications which aims to highlight technological applications as well as affirm humanitarian and social benefits. Every year, 3i3s identifies partnerships to help NGOs (Non-Government Organisation) carry out missions by using space technology.

Tlcoms Sans Frontires plays an essential role in providing communications by deploying specialist teams within 48 hours of an emergency anywhere in the world. Since it was set up in 1998, its mission is to supply telecommunication capabilities for humanitarian aid teams on the ground and to help victims restore contact with the outside world by calling their families and friends.

To assist the mobilisation of these specialist teams, Nissan has donated a 3.0L Patrol 44 vehicle which will allow easy access to remote locations under often difficult driving conditions. The Patrol has a reputation for dealing with the harshest terrain and its ability to reach otherwise inaccessible places has made it the vehicle of choice for other aid organizations. The vehicle will be on emergency duty on a permanent basis.

This 44 vehicle will strengthen TSFs capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East and will facilitate the rapid deployment of a Mobile Communication Centre so that humanitarian workers have immediate access to top-class performance communications (Voice, Broadband Internet and fax, mainly).

It will increase the mobility of TSF responders in the field - the organizations major asset and indispensable in emergency situations - in often difficult working conditions. As the Eutelsat antenna can be dismantled and is portable, it can also be deployed in emergencies worldwide.

Eutelsat has equipped the Patrol with a 1.2 metre satellite dish. Equipped with automatic pointing, the dish is connected to a D-STAR broadband terminal for a suite of communications services ranging from Internet access, Voice over IP and fax to full videoconferencing. As a fully satellite-based service D-STAR is totally independent of terrestrial networks. The system installed on the Nissan Patrol will take less than 30 minutes to put into operation and can also be dismantled and set up as a fixed communications centre.

(Source: Eutelsat)