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8 West Consulting uses SafeTrx & Sigfox to track Thunder Child record attempt

Cork, 28 June – In an attempt to set a world record, Safehaven Marine will be racing around Ireland and Rockall on the speedboat Thunder Child, with sponsor 8 West Consulting providing live tracking on their website, using SafeTrx and Sigfox trackers made by Capturs and HidnSeek.

Dubbed “the long way round” because it includes Rockall, which is almost 500km off the northwest coast of Ireland, the attempt will take place once a two-day window of good weather opens, likely in early July. 8 West will provide live tracking on their dedicated SafeTrx Thunder Child tracking website. SafeTrx is a world-leading Search and Rescue (SAR) vessel tracking product.

The latest SafeTrx Open Architecture that underpins the tracking website now supports tracking technology including satellite and IoT devices, in addition to smartphones. 8 West’s SafeTrx architecture will receive data from L band and Iridium satcom devices, a number of SafeTrx-compatible Sigfox IoT tracking devices, as well as standard smartphones and GPS-enhanced smartphones.

Sigfox is a low-power, wide-area network designed to allow simple internet of things (IoT) devices to communicate. Since Sigfox has a long range and low power requirement, it has exciting potential in marine safety, providing connectivity in areas without cellular coverage. The Sigfox network in Ireland is operated by VT, and the network is expected to extend at least 150km out to sea. Devices communicating on the network can have batteries that last for years.

“Sigfox has strong over-water performance, and we believe it has important applications in marine tracking and safety. The signal from HidnSeek trackers in Ireland have previously been picked up more than 1,000 km away in Spain,” said VT CEO Mark Bannon. “We’re excited to be working with 8 West Consulting on this project, as they have a wealth of experience in providing these services to their customers.”

John Murphy, 8 West Consulting CEO, said, “Our new SafeTrx Open Architecture has allowed us to build a scalable platform to accommodate new non-mobile tracking and alerting technology. Working with these new low-cost, long range, long battery life IoT devices and new IoT distress wearables provides our customers with new possibilities. We saw the prospect of partnering up with Safehaven Marine as a fantastic opportunity to test these new tracking and alerting devices in one the harshest environments on the planet, the North Atlantic. Our devices on the Thunder Child will be transmitting location data over L-band, Iridium, GSM and Sigfox. All these are integrated into SafeTrx and are accessible to the public on the dedicated SafeTrx Thunder Child tracking website.

“We are driving innovation in the search and rescue space to enhance safety, and it’s working. We have logged 750,000 hours of use already with multiple potentially catastrophic outcomes avoided because of the use of SafeTrx. We would like to thank our technology partners in in Thuraya Telecom, Capturs, HidnSeek, VT and YB Tracking.”

In keeping with the principles of 8 West’s SafeTrx Open Architecture, they have adopted a new product portfolio set, ASR: Alert, Search and Respond. Within the Alert portfolio, they have a new SafeTrx compatible wearable distress device that is similar to dive watch. It is fully integrated with SafeTrx technology to transmit emergency alerts should the user experience distress at sea. The devices are being manufactured by a Norwegian partner. They have also integrated a Man Over Board (MOB) Bluetooth LE wearable with their Dutch partner, “Pan Pan”. This integration allows for automated alert integration from the Pan Pan device into the SafeTrx ecosystem. In ‘Search’, they have integrated autonomous drone dispatch with SafeTrx through their partner DroneSAR, to accelerate the search and rescue (SAR) process. Finally, in ‘Respond’ they have integrated with the D4H LIVE Emergency Operations Platform.

Thunder Child is an “XSV 17” interceptor vessel, designed and built by Safehaven Marine. The design is a 17m very high speed, wavepiercing, low RCS Interceptor, designed for naval, law enforcement and offshore patrol applications, as well as being capable of high speed SAR operations, being self-righting, and offering extremely fast emergency response times.


About 8 West Consulting

8 West Consulting, established in 1998 as DeCare Systems Ireland (DSI), is an enterprise software development company, working primarily in .Net and Java technologies. 8 West enjoys long term customer relationships and has a strong track record of innovation and on-time project delivery. With over 200 software technology professionals on staff, largely based in their Cork offices, 8 West provides unique, customer-specific, cost-efficient solutions for clients in the US and EMEA.

8 West is also the developer of the world-leading Search and Rescue (SAR) product, SafeTrx. Designed in close cooperation with SAR professionals across the world, the award winning SafeTrx product is now in use with customers including the Finnish Lifeboat Institute (Suomen Meripelastusseura), the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger), the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij), the Sociedad de Salvamento y Seguridad Marítima (SASEMAR) in Spain, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) in South Africa, the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard (AVCG), the Norwegian Sea Rescue Society (Redningsselskapet), the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) in the United Kingdom and the Irish Sailing Association (ISA).


About VT

VT operates the Sigfox network in Ireland, providing the country’s first commercial IoT network with its infrastructure partner 2rn, the engineering arm of RTE. For more information, visit www.vt-iot.com


About Sigfox

Sigfox is the world’s leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability. Today, the network is present in 30 countries and on track to cover 60 by 2018 – reaching a population of 486 million people. With millions of objects connected and a rapidly growing partner ecosystem, Sigfox empowers companies to move their business model towards more digital services. For more information, see www.sigfox.com.

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