Inmarsat BGAN & D+ Combine to Aid Film Crew in Sahara Desert
A film crew working in North Africa's Sahara Desert has used Inmarsat D+ and BGAN to find two missing support vehicles.
The crew is shooting a feature documentary called Running the Sahara, chronicling the attempt by three athletes to cross the 4000-miles wilderness on foot in 100 days.
Inmarsat's regional director for North America, Frank August, says: "Production company LivePlanet learned that two of its production support vehicles were lost in the desert at night and could not find the camp.
"However, the vehicles were fitted with Inmarsat D+ supplied by Inmarsat's partner Satamatics.
"The crew in the field in Africa used the BGAN to access the Satamatics website, which helped establish the vehicles' most recent D+ fix on Google Earth."
D+ is a low-cost two-way store-and-forward data service offering short messaging and position reporting through a global positioning system receiver.
According to Larry Tanz, CEO of LivePlanet and producer of Running the Sahara: "It was amazing to see the effectiveness of these two technologies in an open desert.
"The locals were stunned at our ability to locate and find the two drivers in a remote part of the desert with no lights, no roads, and no signs. It turned out that they had set off in a totally different direction from the camp."
Running the Sahara will be narrated by Academy Award-winning film actor Matt Damon, telling the story of athletes Ray Zahab of Canada, Kevin Lin of Taiwan, and Charlie Engle of the US.
After starting from Senegal on 2 November, the runners have already entered Libya and expect to complete their 4,000-mile marathon by reaching Egypt in February.
The project also aims to raise awareness of the need for clean water in Africa, and has started a charitable campaign called H2O Africa.
Running the Sahara and H2O Africa are also supported by the One campaign, the advocacy group led by U2 rock band front man Bono, who was recently knighted for his high-profile support of humanitarian issues.
Running the Sahara