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Wired for safety thanks to hunters

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Arviat (Dec 05/05) - A device manufactured on advice from hunters and search-and-rescue members in Coral Harbour and Arviat could help save lives across Nunavut. The device is manufactured by Inuit Nunaani Wireless Inc., based out of Winnipeg.

The Sedna Satellite Tracker 1150 delivers text messages via satellite, rather than relying on phone or radio communication, said Tom Tessier, vice-president of the company. He said the device is capable of showing where a person has been and their current location.

Their first attempt, a little unit in a plastic box with batteries that weren't waterproof, took a group of Coral hunters one time out on the land to realize they were too worried about getting the unit wet for it to be effective. With that failure, Leonard Netser, president of the company, and Tessier turned their attention to OrbComm's text-messaging service.

"Any message sent is out through the satellite in less than an hour," said Tessier. The unit comes in a pelican case which is almost indestructible. Its battery is rated to -55C. Without a battery, it's good to about any temperature.

The unit is comprised of a control computer, GPS, transmitter and receiver. It has a military connector to deliver power from a vehicle directly to the unit.