Avanti satellite project to help Kenya survive disasters
27 June 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray
Satellite company Avanti is to provide its technology to help Kenya plan for and respond to disasters.
The project, funded under the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), will provide secure fixed and mobile satellite communications via an Avanti satellite for emergency situations such as conflict, famine, floods and disease outbreaks.
Avanti managing director Graham Peters said: “Combined with knowledge from our project partners and satellite capacity from our Hylas 2 satellite, the project will provide Kenya’s disaster response teams crucial communication tools and training to plan and respond to disasters.”
Hylas 2, launched in August 2012, has beams aimed at Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. Partners in the project include Kenyan government agencies and the Red Cross Society of Kenya as well as Torchlight group, Airbus and Global Radiodata Communications.
The project, Satellite Enablement for Disaster Risk Reduction in Kenya (SatDRR Kenya) will enable emergency responders and humanitarian organisations to act quickly and effectively on the ground, enabled by satellite communication. The project will also provide earth observation data to improve Kenya’s strategy and planning, before, during and after disasters.
Avanti said that the UK Space Agency’s IPP seeks to maximise the practical impact on the lives of those living in developing countries by partnering with developing countries to use space solutions to solve their specific development challenges, and in doing so increase their capacity.
UK science minister Sam Gyimah said: “These partnerships are first and foremost about helping developing countries stand on their own two feet by building the capability to deal with specific challenges. They also showcase the UK’s expertise and demonstrate the services and technology on offer from our leading space innovators.”
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