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Challenges For Disaster Responders


SatResponse has undertaken a detailed analysis of the problems facing humanitarian responders using satellite communications, focusing on operational and financial barriers to usage.

We have engaged with disaster response organisations from the UN, NGO and European communities in a series of interviews and workshops; as well as performing a thorough survey of current satellite systems, their service provision models and the current market. We have identified a number of key priority issues and findings which are listed in the table below.

SatResponse has used these findings to develop a vision for a future operational service for disaster responders. SatResponse will continue to work on these ideas, but here we present our current straw-man solutions for input from stakeholders and the community.




Proposed Solutions: The SatResponse Vision


SatResponse has proposed the creation of a new independent, multi-partner, not-for-profit entity that delivers services to approved disaster response organisations – who can in turn offer improved satcom enabled ICT services to their field workers, 3rd party humanitarian workers and affected communities.



SatResponse would deliver two core sets of services:

Expert Buyer Services
Offering individual brokering services, aggregated negotiations, specialist technical/regulatory advice and rapid access to available in-situ services. This would facilitate and subsidise connectivity offerings to humanitarians by industry – allowing better services to be accessed more cost effectively.

Gateway Services
Using a SatResponse gateway and lightweight field software to actively manage data traffic and prioritise specific approved applications. This would improve the use of available satellite capacity whilst allowing organisations to prioritise the needs of their field users and robustly manage their expenditure to allow vital services to continue to be delivered.



Services to subscribing organisations would be subsidised through consistent, transparent support from corporate and institutional donors in an agreed framework. The entity would be overseen by an independent management board of stakeholder and community representatives.

We propose that this entity be created as a joint initiative of ESA, a humanitarian ICT institutional partner and the satellite service industry.


Your Contribution


We believe it is not possible to reach the best solutions without support from the humanitarian community. SatResponse invites any involved and interested professionals to provide us with feedback and ideas.




We look forward to working with you to help us take SatResponse forward.



About SatResponse


SatResponse is a feasibility study investigating new models to deliver better satellite communications and space-based application services to disaster responders. The study concludes in early 2015 and will propose a follow-on operational service or system for implementation.

The SatResponse team is led by CGI, a global IT services provider and system integrator. The consortium is made up of Inmarsat, the leading mobile satellite operator; AnsuR Technologies, developers of innovative technology solutions for disasters; and DMC International Imaging, who manage the disaster monitoring constellation.

We are supported by expert advising partners including the

United Nations Institute for Training and Research Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), Télécoms Sans Frontières and Eutelsat.

The European Space Agency (ESA) funds the SatResponse Study under the ARTES 20 IAP framework, which promotes integrated space-based applications. Note that the views expressed here are those of the consortium and cannot necessarily be taken to reflect the official opinion of ESA.

Mr. Omar Iqbal
SatResponse Project Manager
E-mail: contact@satresponse.org
Web: www.satresponse.org
Web: http://artes-apps.esa.int/projects/satresponse


SatResponse Sponsor: European Space Agency (ESA)

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 20 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

For more information, please visit http://www.esa.int

SatResponse Consortium Members

CGI leads the SatResponse consortium. Founded in 1976, CGI is a global IT and business process services provider with 68,000 professionals delivering high-quality business consulting, systems integration and outsourcing services. For over 35 years we have worked in the Space industry delivering complex, mission critical space systems. Our solutions are secure, often in complex technical environments, proven to work first time, every time, ultra-reliable and delivered on time to avoid costly delays.

For more information, please visit www.cgi.com

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to Aid & NGOs, governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L).

For more information, please visit www.inmarsat.com


AnsuR develops software applications for efficient use of satellite network capacity in crisis and disaster management, including mission-critical visual communications, access to Earth Observation in the field and smart routing and bandwidth management.

For more information, please visit www.ansur.no

DMCii has been working on the application of space technology to international disaster response since the company’s inception in 2004. Through the UKSA, DMCii works with other national space agencies on the International Charter ‘Space & Major Disasters’, and plays a regular role in providing timely information to policy makers and, increasingly, the front line services and relief teams.

For more information, please visit www.dmcii.com