United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space: 2004
Forty-seventh session
(2 to 11 June 2004)

Industry Workshop



Satellites for disaster communications: saving lives from natural disasters

Monday, 7 June 2004
Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria



Background for the Industry Workshop

The Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III), held in 1999, recognized the impact of disasters as one of the global challenges to sustainable development and called for an action to implement an integrated, global system to manage natural disaster mitigation, relief and prevention efforts through space-based services. At its forty-sixth session, in 2003, the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space requested the Office for Outer Space Affairs to convene a one-day workshop for industry during the current session of the Committee, inviting all major communications satellite operators to participate, presenting the capabilities of their systems and airing their views on how satellite-based communications could be used during natural disasters. This Workshop for industry will build upon several actions already undertaken by the Committee and its Scientific and Technical Subcommittee in response to the call by UNISPACE III. Through its work conducted under a three-year plan, from 2001 to 2003, the Subcommittee identified national and regional space-based systems that could be considered as part of a global system for managing natural disasters. The Action Team on Disaster Management, established by the Committee in 2001 under voluntary leadership of Governments and consisting of 41 member States and 14 organizations, recently submitted its recommendations to provide a coordinated and comprehensive disaster management space support system. The Subcommittee also agreed that under a new work plan for the period 2005-2007, it would consider the development and strengthening of space-system-based disaster management support.

The Workshop will provide government representatives to the Committee with a useful forum to exchange views with industry representatives on how satellite-based communications could be better used during natural disasters. This is very timely as the Committee, at the current session, finalizes its Plan of Action for consideration by the United Nations General Assembly later this year when it reviews the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of UNISPACE III, five years after the holding of the Conference. The Assembly is expected to provide guidance and direction for the full implementation of an integrated, space-based global system to support disaster management on an operational basis.


Objectives of the workshop

The objectives of the workshop are: (1) to identify the potential uses and benefits of satellite-based communications in disaster management by reviewing current capabilities and successful projects; (2) to identify ways to overcome the obstacles that prevent countries, particularly developing countries, from using satellite-based communications during natural disasters and; (3) to recommend effective steps that the industry and Member States could take together in order to enhance the use of satellite-based communications in managing natural disasters

Satellite operators and service providers would have the opportunity to present their views on how satellite-based communications could be better used during natural disasters and how governments and/or international organizations could facilitate the provision of their communications services, particularly for the benefit of disaster-prone developing countries. Government representatives will have the opportunity to express their views on how the partnership with the private sector could enhance the use of communications for managing natural disasters.




Online Presentations

Moderator: Hans Zimmermann, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

15:45 - 16:05

Introductory remarks by the moderator and presentation by Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  Presentations by industry representatives
16:05 - 16:25 Inmarsat - Global Mobile Satellite Communications
Mr. Tom Bradley
European Manager Government Services
Powerpoint Presentation
16:25 - 16:45 The Role of Mobile Satellite Telecommunications in Disaster Communications
Mr. Gleb Larionov
Maritime Product Manager
Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company
Powerpoint Presentation
16:45 - 17:05 Making the Rural Connection: Public Safety
Mr. John Schroder
Director of Sales, Department of Homeland Security;
Department of Defence<
Iridium Satellite LLC
Powerpoint Presentation
17:05 - 17:25 Disaster Management Communication Plans for India: The Role of the INSAT System
Mr. M.Y.S. Prasad
Director, Master Control Facility
Indian Space Research Organisation
on behalf of Antrix Corporation Limited
Powerpoint Presentation
17:25 - 17:45 Satellite Solutions for Crisis Situations
Mr. Gerard Donelan
Head of Government Services
Powerpoint Presentation
17:45 - 18:05 Discussion session:
"Working together to save lives: how to enhance Government-industry cooperation."
18:05 - 18:10 Summary of the presentations and concluding remarks by the moderator










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