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ProTECTS Members to Gather May 17 to Drive Adoption of Satellite Tracking and Messaging Standards

MCLEAN, Va., April 26, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The ProTECTS Alliance (Promotion of Two-way Emergency Communication and Tracking Systems) is gaining momentum in its efforts to drive the two-way satellite tracking and messaging technologies. To further its cause, the ProTECTS Alliance will hold its next meeting on May 17, 2010. The group will meet in San Diego, Calif. the week of the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) Annual Assembly Meeting.

The Alliance addresses significant issues affecting the suppliers and users of two-way personal location, messaging and emergency communication devices. It also interfaces with the global search-and-rescue (SAR) community. In addition, The Alliance seeks to create and sustain awareness around the need for the highest possible standards for satellite-based global SAR communication tools. The ProTECTS Alliance serves as a bridge between standard-writing organizations and companies designing and launching new services. There are more than 40 members of the ProTECTS Alliance.

"ProTECTS members are building a collaborative atmosphere to develop broad-based industry standards that will ensure interoperability with global SAR organizations," said Patrick Shay, ProTECTS chair and vice president of Iridium's data services. "There is a strong need for standards based on two-way (duplex) data as opposed to one-way (simplex) data links – particularly when you consider the number of unnecessary and accidental distress signals that can have huge cost or safety implications for SAR organizations."

The May 17 meeting will begin with an introduction and update from Patrick Shay and a welcome to new ProTECTS members. Featured speakers include:

  • Chris Hoffman, RTCM Board of Directors and Chairman of the RTCM Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (SENDS) committee – update from the committee on working on a new standard for satellite emergency notification
  • Peter Bradley, Staff Officer Operations (Communications and Information), Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) – discussion of MOB Guardian two-way data system for SAR in the U.K.
  • Dave Fuhrmann, Manager, SAR Programs, U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) – overview of rescue coordination and SAR services in the U.S.
  • Allan Knox, U.S. Air Force Distress Alert Satellite System Program manager and National Search and Rescue Committee (NSARC) Work Group Co-Chairman, and U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Kathy Niles – report on NSARC Commercial Emergency Notification and Locating Group's work to create standards for SAR services responding to satellite beacon alerts

ProTECTS Alliance membership is open to mobile satellite companies, service providers, product developers, manufacturers, system integrators, network operators, resellers, distributors, retailers, users, consultants, SAR organizations, first responders, trade associations, national and international regulatory bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGO).

Iridium serves as a facilitator for the ProTECTS Alliance, hosts meetings and distributes related information. Companies and organizations interested in membership and attending the ProTECTS Alliance meeting should contact or visit for more information.

About Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium Communications Inc. ( is the only mobile satellite service (MSS) company offering coverage over the entire globe. The Iridium constellation of low-earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites provides critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication networks. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of distributors, and provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. and international government agencies. The company's customers represent a broad spectrum of industry, including maritime, aeronautical, government/defense, public safety, utilities, oil/gas, mining, forestry, heavy equipment and transportation. Iridium has launched a major development program for its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. The company is headquartered in McLean, Va., USA and trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbols IRDM (common stock), IRDMW ($7.00 warrants), IRDMZ ($11.50 warrants) and IRDMU (units).

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