Rallying to the cause

Rally driver, Yasmin Al Hilli will be relying on satellite communications as she competes in the UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  October 30, 2002

Rally driver, Yasmin Al Hilli will be relying on satellite communications as she competes in the UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge. Using Inmarasat satellite technology, Al Hilli will be able to contact her support team and access real time data even when racing in remote desert regions.

The UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge, the final round of the FIA and FIM World Cups for Cross Country Rallies, starts in Abu Dhabi on October 30th and finishes in Dubai on November 2nd.

“Specific to the second stage of the rally, which takes place in the Eastern region of the remote Rub Al Khali where telecommunication and terrestrial infrastructure is not available, a combination of our satellite based systems will allow Al Hilli and her team to have a live exchange of multimedia files from the desert, and ensure that Al Hilli is safe and her location is known throughout the course of the race,” says Samer Halawi, regional director, Inmarsat.

Using Inmarasat’s Global Area Network (GAN), a mobile 64 K/bits/s satellite solution, Al Hilli and her team will be able to send live TV pictures back to Bahrain. Working with Batelco, Al Hilli will also have access to an Inmarsat mini-M satellite phone, which will enable her to speak to her support team while in the desert.

A further tool, Inmarast-C, which uses a GPS system to track the location of the vehicle, will also help the team know where Al Hilli is. “We will be able to track her car on a map of the desert with pinpoint accuracy, in real time, on a specific web site on the internet,” says Gavin Stevenson, Al Hilli’s team manager.

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