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Home arrow News arrow GIS, Geo Tech Software arrow Globalstar Tracking Currents in the Gulf of Mexico     

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Globalstar Tracking Currents in the Gulf of Mexico PDF Print E-mail
GIS News - GIS, Geo Tech Software
Written by Globalstar, Inc.   
08 November 2012
Satellite Company Provides Researchers With SPOT Satellite GPS Messengers(TM) to Complete an Unprecedented Oceanic Flow Study in Wake of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

COVINGTON, La., Nov. 8, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Globalstar Inc.
(Nasdaq:GSAT) announced a partnership with the University of Miami to
complete the Grand Lagrangian Deployment (GLAD), the largest research
expedition studying ocean surface flow to date. Since summer 2012,
researchers have placed more than 300 SPOT Satellite GPS Messengers(TM)
into the Gulf with uninterrupted high-frequency tracking service. The
Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the
Environment (CARTHE, carthe.org), which is funded by the Gulf of Mexico
Research Initiative (GoMRI,gomri.org) program, intends to use the
collected data to explain ocean flow as it relates to the dispersion of
pollutants and the effects of hurricanes on the dissemination of
environmental hazards over time.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

"In light of the Deepwater Horizon incident and Hurricane Isaac, SPOT
has transmitted ground-breaking data that may tell us how pollutants
behave in normal and hurricane conditions," said Dr. Tamay Ozgokmen,
Director of CARTHE. "Oceanographers have never released 300 drifters at
once. We did this in the area near the Deepwater Horizon and measured
where and how fast the drifters moved, using high-precision tracking
devices. This novel approach to understanding the Gulf's unique ocean
surface currents has implications for emergency responders and managers
in the event of another oil spill, as well as human and environmental

In order to study the complex and understudied currents near the
Deepwater Horizon oil spill area, SPOT devices were mounted inside
drifters that floated just below the ocean's surface. CARTHE
researchers want to understand how the Gulf's flow may impact the
transport of oil or pollutants along the surface of the ocean,
particularly near coastal areas, which are especially vulnerable.

"The success of this study is largely due to quality and technology
offered by the SPOT devices, which are providing CARTHE scientists
better insight into how pollutant patches spread in the ocean," said
Dr. Ozgokmen. "Our custom-made ocean drifters had to be lightweight,
low-cost and reliable. We couldn't find a similar product that could
match the price, size, battery life, reliability, transmission
frequency and tracking accuracy of SPOT."

In only three months, SPOT devices have provided CARTHE close to 5
million data transmissions on ocean circulation patterns at a scope and
rate that is virtually unprecedented. Every five minutes, the devices
relayed GPS coordinates with an accuracy within 4 meters. Other devices
traditionally send tracking coordinates every thirty minutes. SPOT
altered its standard tracking of every 10 minutes to meet the study's
unique needs.

Dr. Ozgokmen, Dr. Brian Haus, Lead GLAD Scientist, and other CARTHE
researchers from more than 12 institutions around the world will use
the data gathered from the SPOT devices via the Globalstar satellite
network units to gain better insights into how oceanic flow transports
pollutants. CARTHE's data is being used to improve state-of-the-art
ocean forecast models, which will provide more accurate predictions of
where the oil may go and how fast it will get there. This is essential
for effective emergency response as well as resource allocations in the
event of another oil spill.

"Globalstar is delighted that SPOT's GPS tracking services are being
utilized as part of such an innovative research project that will have
a significant impact on society and the environment," said Bob Bennett,
a representative for the Gulf Coast based satellite communications

SPOT devices are rugged, pocket-sized devices that use satellite
messaging technology to allow users to communicate from remote
locations around the globe. The SPOT product family uses the GPS
satellite network to determine a customer's location and to the
Globalstar network of satellites to transmit messages and GPS
coordinates to others, independent of cellular phone coverage or radio
frequency range. As a result, SPOT devices fulfill a variety of
purposes including emergency services, recreational tracking and
scientific studies.

About the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon
in the Environment (CARTHE)

The CARTHE project includes twenty-six principal investigators from
twelve research institutions in eight states. Together these scientists
are embarking in a novel research direction, developing a suite of
integrated models and state-of-the-art data assimilation that bridge
the scale gap between existing models and natural processes. This
research project was made possible by a grant from The Gulf of Mexico
Research Initiative (GoMRI). The GoMRI is a 10-year, $500 million
independent research program established by an agreement between BP and
the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) to study the effects of the
Deepwater Horizon incident and the potential associated impact of this
and similar incidents on the environment and public health.

About Globalstar Inc.

Globalstar is a leading provider of mobile satellite voice and data
services. Globalstar offers these services to commercial customers and
recreational consumers in more than 120 countries around the world. The
Company's products include mobile and fixed satellite telephones,
simplex and duplex satellite data modems, the SPOT Satellite GPS
Messenger and flexible service packages. Many land based and maritime
industries benefit from Globalstar with increased productivity from
remote areas beyond cellular and landline service. Global customer
segments include: oil and gas, government, mining, forestry, commercial
fishing, utilities, military, transportation, heavy construction,
emergency preparedness, and business continuity as well as individual
recreational users. Globalstar data solutions are ideal for various
asset and personal tracking, data monitoring and SCADA applications.
All SPOT products described in this press release are the products of
Spot LLC, which is not affiliated in any manner with Spot Image of
Toulouse, France or Spot Image Corporation of Chantilly, Virginia.

For more information regarding Globalstar, please visit Globalstar's
web site at www.globalstar.com

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