Putting Monitoring Services into Orbit

European companies partner to deliver satellite-based alarm and video surveillance


Two companies are implementing an ESA-supported project to introduce a satellite-based solution for alarm monitoring and video surveillance to meet the increasing demand for security systems from the government and corporate market.

The two companies are UK-based satellite operator Orbit Research Ltd and Germany's MediaMobil Communication GmbH. The so-called Satellite Alarm and Surveillance System (SASS) is independent of terrestrial infrastructure and can be interfaced with standard video surveillance systems.

SASS enables the interconnection of alarm and video surveillance systems to security centres via satellite. Alarm messages and live video images can be simultaneously transmitted. Bi-directional audio and internet-like data channels provided emergency voice communications and remote control of devices such as cameras. The system can provide primary or redundant connectivity for security systems where terrestrial networks are either not available or are unreliable.

Orbit's SASS satellite terminals can be deployed at any location within the coverage of the Eutelsat Eurobird-3 satellite. The terminals consist of a 90cm outdoor antenna and an indoor unit with standard interfaces for the connection of alarm panels, CCTV cameras, telephones, microphones, speakers and a standard computer data port (Ethernet) for user-defined applications. The terminals are linked via a geostationary satellite to the ViaOrbit hub in the UK. From the hub, all traffic is routed via broadband networks to alarm response centres. The satellite transmission links are controlled by the ViaOrbit operations centre.