BGAN service provides assistance in high altitude environments


The BGAN service provides a remote solution in the Andes for a new prototype body sensor for use in high altitude environments. This data was transmitted via BGAN back to a location in France. This evaluation went on for 3 weeks as these sensors were put to the test on the summit of Mount Aconcagua in the Andes Cordillera, Argentina.

These new body sensors are manufactured by BodySens in Nimes and were tested by French climbers Valerie Miouze, Catrine Millier, Christophe Augier, Pascal Siedel and Marc Batard who reached the summit of Aconcagua summit at 22,841ft on February 18th. The BGAN service was used during their sojourn to report both scientific data from the sensor being worn and to provide information to the French media.

The climbers kept these small wireless Active Protection Personal Instruments in the hoods of their coats. The device measured heart rate, blood oxygen levels and the locations of the climbers. BodySens is also proud to have recorded the highest altitude electrocardiogram (ECG) ever taken on land during the climb using a small device called EPI Life which can be held in the palm of a hand.

Team Project manager Anthony Mazeau said the expedition had many radio, TV and web media partners to communicate with in addition to transmitting back to BodySens.

“They ran a full range of experiments on the human body’s response to altitude,” explained Anthony.

“They were helping BodySens develop sensors able to record and store the data, which included measurements on lung function (spirometry), heart rate (during exertion and when resting), arterial blood pressure and muscle volume loss due to altitude.”

A BGAN Explorer 700 was supplied for the expedition to transmit the data along with a solar charger to power the mobile satellite system. Anthony added: “The choice of the BGAN service ensured that lightweight, robust and compact equipment could be used with relatively inexpensive airtime, which was an important part of the original brief.”

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