“Reconnaissance satellites, first deployed in the early 1960s to peer into denied regions of the Soviet Union and other secretive enemy states, have from time to time been used by civilian agencies of the federal government to assist with mapping, disaster relief, and environmental concerns. These uses have been coordinated by the Civil Applications Office at the U.S. Geological Survey, a component of the Interior Department. Post 9/11, the Bush Administration sought to encourage use of satellite-derived data for homeland security and law enforcement purposes, in addition to the civil applications that have been supported for years.”
The use of satellite tracking services has helped the American government to locate where stolen cars were shipped to in other parts of the world. As early as 1968, consideration was being given to the provision of images captured by intelligence satellites to civilian agencies on issues such as hydrology and oceanography, mapping, and emergency preparedness.
However, these days, there are satellite phones which look and act like mobile or fixed phones with which a lot of us are familiar. These products can be used by individuals and SMEs to provide security over assets and to save human lives that are at risk. The difference of these satellite phones when compared to GSM mobile phones is that they can operate virtually anywhere, carrying your call/data over an exceptionally clear, secure Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) satellite signal.
This is made possible from the existence of Globaltouch constellation of Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites, which picks up signals from the West Africa region. Globaltouch has solid partnership programme with Globalstar, USA. Satellite communication services reach up to 80% of earth surface, with exception to the extreme Polar Regions and some mid-ocean regions. Once the second-generation constellation is fully deployed and operational, several satellites can pick up a call, and this helps assure that the call is not dropped even if a phone moves out of sight of one of the satellites.
As soon as a second satellite picks up the signal and is able to contact the same terrestrial gateway, it begins to simultaneously transmit. If buildings or terrain block phone signal, the soft-hand-off prevents call interruption. The second satellite now maintains transmission of the original signal to the terrestrial gateway.