Safe and Connected Off Road
Rally Racing With Iridium Comms #
Off-road rally races require clear, reliable communications ensuring the safety of both the competitors and the rally producers. Creating a communications ecosystem of Iridium and Iridium Connected devices allowed both competitors and organizers to feel safe and connected when the race took them beyond the reach of cellular coverage. With a comprehensive solution comprised of communication and tracking devices enabling enhanced safeguard measures, the Rebelle Rally was able to use more accurate scoring and tracking data throughout the race, and provided a safer experience to participants.
One of the keys to making competitions like this possible is reliable, real-time communications and tracking services; however, they are traditionally unreliable, slow to provide tracking updates, and not robust enough to fully support the various data needs of competitions like Rebelle. Spending eight days in the California and Nevada deserts, 36 driving teams and the entire Rebelle Rally staff navigated hundreds of kilometers each day in search of checkpoints and camps well outside of cellular coverage. The central need for the drivers and the organization is dependable safety through constant tracking and open lines of communication.
Iridium Solution #
Using the Iridium 9555, the ICOM IC-SAT100, and the YB Tracker, the Rebelle Rally team created an end-to-end solution revolving around Iridium’s reliable services, enabling the base camps to provide live tracking and scoring for their audience, while ensuring the safety of their competitors through daily check-ins over Iridium PTT and access to a satellite phone in case of emergencies. Rebelle also put redundant Iridium Connected systems in place as a safeguard for the unlikely event that a team’s tracker became non-functional.
Rebelle organizers worked extensively with YB Tracking to program a private scoring database, which interfaced with each tracker and connected the tracker into the scoring system, concurrently updating stats and scoring throughout the days over the Iridium network. The Rebelle Rally also built a bespoke vehicle data interface populated by data transmitted via Iridium, allowing for the collection of real-time vehicle data without on-site testing by engineers.
The Impact #
Using Iridium’s truly global network, Rebelle Rally created a customized communications ecosystem that enabled real-time connections, scoring, and tracking like rarely seen in off-road rally racing. The participants were able to race the extreme course with confidence that Iridium calling and push-to-talk services could quickly and reliably connect them to the race organizers or emergency services if necessary, while fans were able to follow their favored teams in real-time and track their scores on the Rebelle Rally website throughout the week.
Iridium Enables Safe and Connected Off-Road Rally Racing. (2021, September 22). Retrieved November 13, 2021, from https://www.iridium.com/case-studies/iridium-enables-safe-and-connected-off-road-rally-racing/