You are here

    • You are here:
    • Home > Handheld solution for tracking helicopters and small ai...

Case Study 

Handheld solution for tracking helicopters and small aircraft

The GSatMicro size comparison

About the GSatMicro handheld unit

The GSatMicro is the smallest self-contained Iridium tracker in the world. It transmits positions, SOS alerts and other specialized information through its industry-leading satellite, antenna and electronics technology to be monitored and analyzed in real-time. Configuration capabilities enable the support of any asset and type of information, allowing the GSatMicro to be used in many different applications.

MH-47 - Chinook

The Customer Situation

A government agency was utilizing hand held tracking units on helicopters and light aircraft to track pilots in training. The hand held units were a secondary solution to conventional radar tracking. The hand held units also provided a solution for tracking the pilots if they had to abandon the aircraft for any reason.

MH-47 - Chinook Cockpit

The Challenge

The devices the government agency were currently using proved to be highly unreliable. Pilots would drop them in the cockpits of these vehicles often with the antenna down or completely out of view of the windows. Positioning them this way inhibited the ability for satellite signal to transmit and be received.

When these same units were placed on helicopters they were regularly exposed to the elements. While these older units were water resistant they would often have to be sent back to the manufacturer after being waterlogged. In many cases water found its way inside the devices and bubbled up under the touch screen technology. This rendered the units unreadable even if they continued to work.

The GSatMicro Water Submersion Test

The Solution

The government agency replaced all the old hand held units with GSatMicro units. This immediately addressed all of the problems facing the older units. The GSatMicro antenna was designed to operate in many orientations as well as with various dielectric loading effects of being near or on various materials, including human models or conductive materials. While the older units experienced problems with the strength of their antenna in the cockpit the GSatMicro excelled.

The second challenge the older devices faced was with their ability to withstand the elements. The GSatMicro has gone through rigorous testing and has proven that it can withstand full submersion for an extended period of time and continue to work once removed from those conditions. The GSatMicro was designed with the intent of performing in the high stress environment military units face daily. It was this design that allowed it to execute properly even exposed to the elements.

The GSatMicro in sand

The Result

The Government agency replaced all of the older model devices with the GSatMicro units. This lead to greater versatility in the field. The GSatMicro units reported more accurately and consistently than the previous devices. The GSatMicro units also performed well under stress. The GSatMicro units kept out water and dust providing a good fit for tracking the helicopters which were more vulnerable to weather conditions.

Lastly the change to the GSatMicro also allowed the agency to better understand how their pilots were performing in the field. Combining GsatTrack and the GSatMicro the government agency was able to monitor so much more than simple positions on a map. Suddenly the government agency now had the ability to monitor pitch, roll, speed, and heading. The agency was even able to create alerts around events like sudden changes in altitude giving greater insight into how the pilots in training were performing. In the end the change to the GSatMicro gave a more consistent connection, was able to stand up to the stresses of the environment and allowed for an even more robust solution to understanding the behavior of the people and assets being tracked.

About the Author
Scott Walters
Global Account Manager

Scott Walters is a business professional with over 24 years of technology based experience and has demonstrated success as a manager and team leader with an emphasis on account management, logistics, team building and multitasking effectively within a high-stress, goal oriented environment.

Contact Scott Walters at

More Information

For general inquiries, please contact For more technical information, please contact You may also call us at +1.954.459.4000


Have any questions?

We understand there are problems that cannot be solved by a product-in-a-box. If you have special requirements for your project, please contact us and we will provide you with a custom solution tailor-fit to your needs.