European Space Agency Selects TransCore's GlobalWave Research and Development Team Along With Novacom Services to Develop Satellite-Based Container Tracking Prototype: Asset Tracking Product to Provide Global Visibility of Intermodal Cargo Containers

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The European Space Agency (ESA) selects TransCore, a company that provides satellite asset tracking on three continents through its GlobalWave technology, and Novacom Services, a subsidiary of Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), to lead the development of an asset tracking prototype that will provide continuous visibility of intermodal containers and eliminate the line-of-sight complication that hinders global tracking of containers while in transit. The prototype should be completed by end of 2008.

Being selected by ESA for a project of global importance is a privilege. Our heritage in research, development and manufacturing along with our commercial transportation expertise is well suited to the task.

    The worldwide container traffic by sea, rail and truck is estimated to reach approximately 19 million units by 2012, yet there is no way to track and monitor individual containers from the point of origin to the point of destination on a continuous basis. While there has been an emerging growth of existing terrestrial and satellite asset tracking products, there is currently not a product that can continuously track containers across global international boundaries without times of outages or lost communications due to blocked line of sight when containers are stacked.

Intermodal transport of goods through containers is becoming a preferred choice of transport due to the versatility and easy transfer of containers from one mode of transportation to another, such as from ship to rail and truck. The current inability to provide constant tracking creates several logistical problems, including security risks, loss of containers, inefficient utilization of fleets, poor quality of service to shippers, and theft. Increased monitoring of containers is crucial for shippers, operators and shipping lines to improve the transportation chain and the security of shipments.

"Both companies already have successful contracts with our ESA Telecom department in their specific domains. The combination of TransCore's research and development strength and Novacom's expertise designing versatile application server platforms for the implementation of such a compelling service promises to be an excellent showcase of the capabilities of our industries as well as of the strengths of satellite communications," said Norbert Hubner, project manager of mobile application projects within the ESA Telecommunications Department of the European Space Agency.

John Worthington, president of TransCore's Commercial Technology Group, added, "Being selected by ESA for a project of global importance is a privilege. Our heritage in research, development and manufacturing along with our commercial transportation expertise is well suited to the task."

TransCore and Novacom Services have a long-standing partnership ideally suited for this development, which will combine GlobalWave satellite communications technology with the application server platform developed and used by Novacom for clients worldwide supporting a variety of terminal products and satellite systems for tracking and remote monitoring applications.

TransCore, as lead contractor, will use its power efficient satellite core modem as the foundation for the mobile terminal, and the GlobalWave network will provide two-way communications and tracking in North America and Europe. Further development work will focus on the addition of terminal-to-terminal communications for containers in transit. This will ensure uninterrupted coverage even if the containers are stacked which will mark a major breakthrough towards achieving secure containers.

Novacom will be responsible for the application server platform development needed to provide a user-friendly interface with back-office business operations, as well as for all end-to-end validation testing of the terminal in the satellite communications system.

About TransCore

TransCore operates as a unit of Roper Industries, a market-driven, diversified growth company with 2006 revenues of $1.7 billion, a market capitalization exceeding $5 billion, and is a component of the S&P Mid-Cap 400, Fortune 1000 and Russell 1000 Indexes.

With products and installations in 46 countries, more than 100 patents worldwide, and pioneering applications of radio frequency identification (RFID), satellite communications, and internet-based logistics technologies, TransCore's expertise is unparalleled in the markets it serves. With three ground control stations providing service to five continents, the GlobalWave network supports customers worldwide including over 600 U.S. commercial transportation companies, the U.S. Department of Defense, and powers TransCore's 3sixty fleet management services. GlobalWave reached distribution milestones earlier this year exceeding 150,000 satellite communications transceivers worldwide. In 2007, Inbound Logistics Magazine ranked TransCore as one of the Top 100 Logistics IT providers. For more information, visit

About Novacom Services

Novacom Services is a subsidiary of Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), the exclusive operator of the Argos system and the CNES (the French Space Agency). In 2002 CLS created Novacom Services to develop and market new products and services for global tracking and monitoring. The Novacom platform is a 24/7/365 data-processing center that allows customers to control their assets in real-time via the Internet. Novacom supports customers in transportation, construction industry, waste management and international aid. Every day, 20,000 terminals send 1,000,000+ positions through the Novacom system to provide more visibility and control on remote assets.

About European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA), established in 1975, is an inter-governmental organization dedicated to the research, development and exploitation of space, currently with 17 member states. Its headquarters are in Paris, France. ESA has a staff (excluding sub-contractors and national space agencies) of about 1,900. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programs and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

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Barb Catlin
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