EMS Sky Connect Supports Messaging and Real-time Location Data at 2009 Baja 1000 Desert Dingo Race
Advances in Worldwide Satellite Communication and Tracking Help Off-Road Racers Leave Their Competition in the Dust
FELTON, Calif., Nov. 19, 2009 -- Desert Dingo Racing, a high-tech off-road racing team based in Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley, is demonstrating a state-of-the-art satellite-based communication and tracking system at the Baja 1000 this week, outfitting its off-road race car and chase trucks with an EMS Sky Connect Rugged Text and Track (RTT) communications and tracking system. The Baja 1000 off-road race, in its 42nd year, takes place on Mexico's Baja Peninsula Nov.18-22.
"Tracking and communicating with a race car and the chase team are some of the greatest challenges facing any off-road race team," said Desert Dingo Racing Co-founder Jim Graham. "EMS Sky Connect's RTT leverages a satellite-based communication and tracking system that's been proven for decades in airline fleets, ocean-going cargo ships and emergency vehicles and makes it available now to the off-road racing community."
The RTT system includes a ruggedized short burst transceiver mounted on the roof of the team's 1969 VW Beetle and a touchpad messaging unit with an LCD screen mounted in front of the co-driver. The messaging unit includes 10 "one-touch" pre-programmed messages and the ability to manually type in messages up to 32 characters long.
Messages are relayed through a worldwide satellite system to EMS Sky Connect's network where they are displayed via a Web-based map that allows team members in California to track the progress of the car and the location of the chase vehicle and to send messages to individual vehicles or the entire team.
"Our equipment meets the toughest standards and has proven to be rugged, reliable and dependable. Today we have over 5,000 systems in use worldwide," said Steve Silverman, general manager, EMS Sky Connect. The Desert Dingo Racing deployment represents EMS Sky Connect's first move into the off-road racing market, and will be an excellent addition to the product line of communication and tracking products used by consumers operating in remote and extreme environments.
EMS Sky Connect's Web-based Tracker Map offers race teams highly configurable capabilities. These include extensive map-data options such as NAVTEQ roads, Digital Earthâ satellite imagery and U.S. Geological Survey topographical maps; user definable geo-fencing; and custom map objects with data linking.
"When you break down in the desert, it can be an hour or more before your team knows you need help and where to find you," Graham said. "EMS Sky Connect's system gives us situational awareness never before available to off road racing teams. We view this as a tremendous competitive advantage over teams relying on VHF radios and current GPS tracking systems."
Desert Dingo Racing campaigns a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle in off-road races in the United States and Mexico. The team is the official World Diabetes Day off-road race team and works with the International Diabetes Federation to raise money for diabetes education and awareness programs. Two Desert Dingo team members have Type 2 diabetes and several other team members have a history of the disease in their families. The team makes the car available for public events and distributes thousands of hero cards with the warning signs of diabetes printed on the back in English and Spanish.
About EMS Sky Connect
EMS Sky Connect, a division of EMS Technologies, Inc., is a leader in Iridium-based satellite technology and services for helicopter, fixed-wing, ground-based and marine applications. EMS Sky Connect offers a broad range of satellite-based tracking and voice systems in both commercial and government markets. Visit www.skyconnect.com or www.ems-t.com for more information.
About Desert Dingo Racing
Desert Dingo Racing is a team of high tech professionals based in Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley who campaign in 1969 VW Beetle in off-road races in the United States and Mexico. They are the official World Diabetes Day off road care team. The team raises money for diabetes education and awareness programs sponsored by the International Diabetes Federation. To learn more, visit www.desertdingo.com