Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd., a wholly owned
subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. and a leader in satellite messaging
and emergency notification technologies, announced that Spain's
coastal authority, Salvamento Maritimo, has chosen SPOT Trace
tracking devices as a tool to help train its search and rescue
teams as well as oil spill disaster recovery crews.
Salvamento Maritimo attaches small SPOT Trace units to human-like
dummies that are placed in the ocean to simulate emergency search
and rescue situations. By capturing and analyzing the tracking
data from SPOT Trace as the dummy moves in the water, Salvamento
Marítimo can determine how far a person in water might drift due
to ocean waves, currents and winds using the Search & Rescue
Model and Response System (SARMAP) application. By accurately
predicting the movement of victims in the ocean, Salvamento
Maritimo can refine and enhance its rescue procedures and
SPOT Trace is also used during the training of Spain's oil spill
disaster recovery crews. SPOT Trace devices are attached to buoys
and the tracking data gives researchers and crews in training a
better understanding of how an oil spill spreads.
The suggestion to use a satellite tracking device came from
academic and research institutions, including Puertos del Estado,
which is the Spanish agency responsible for maintenance of
physical oceanographic parameters in Spanish waters and is one of
several Salvamento Marítimo academic partners. Salvamento
Marítimo acquired several SPOT Trace units to assess how
effective they would be in providing accurate tracking data to
understand how different objects drift in the ocean. The devices
were initially tested in waters off Spain's northern Asturias
The initial tests were successful. Further tests and training
exercises were soon carried out in other parts of the country and
now SPOT is helping in training operations throughout Spain's
coastal safety organizations.
The data which SPOT transmits via satellite is pivotal to
assessing the validity of theoretical ocean current modeling
programs. When assumptions and predictions of wave patterns and
drift are ratified by SPOT data, rescuers can be more confident
that their operations and processes are informed and that
personnel are well trained and prepared to respond in an
Salvamento Marítimo is not the only organization that has
recognized the benefits of using SPOT for oceanographic research.
In April 2017, Globalstar announced that University of Miami
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM) is
deploying 550 SPOT Trace satellite trackers in its ongoing oil
spill research. Studies undertaken with the Consortium for
Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment
(CARTHE) forecast the spread of oil dispersed into the
environment in order to help inform and guide response teams.
This research follows UM's earlier project launched in 2012 which
monitored oil behavior in the BP Gulf of Mexico spill.