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Matt, The sat phone worked great. 20 Honda Dirt Bike riders and no cell service up at Kennedy Meadows, Ca. We never had to use it for an emergency but we did try a few times up in the forest and at camp and it performed flawlessly.

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—Dan

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News Updates

Vegas boy dies after getting stranded in Death Valley

From: Las Vegas Sun
Associated Press
Friday, Aug. 7, 2009 | 11:30 a.m.

An 11-year-old Las Vegas boy died after his mother's car got stuck in sand in Death Valley for five days during a camping trip, officials said Friday.

Carlos Sanchez and his 28-year-old mother set out for an overnight trip to the area Aug. 1, but were stranded when their car got stuck about 20 miles east of Trona. The mother's name has not been released.

Salton Sea is Swarming with Earthquake Data

Quake map
Broadband Seismic Data Collection Center (ANZA), Institute of Geophysics & Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
Image of Google map showing earthquake clusters. Click here to open map.
As seismologists sharpen their focus on the desert region, which has had more than 200 temblors since Saturday, they're learning more about how quakes in one area can affect activity on nearby faults.

9:50 PM PDT, March 25, 2009
It's one of the great mysteries of Southern California seismology: Every couple of years, the remote desert area around the Salton Sea is shaken by swarms of small to moderate earthquakes that often last several days.

The swarms returned this week, with the area recording more than 200 temblors since Saturday -- including several that were felt Wednesday. But this time, scientists had sophisticated instruments in the ground to record the activity, helping them to better understand the swarms and how they can affect seismic risk elsewhere.

Scientists have noticed that the quakes appear to have a pattern, moving southeast as the days progress. But a bigger question remains: Can the quakes trigger larger -- and potentially more destructive -- quakes along the San Andreas fault, which terminates at the shore of the Salton Sea?

Iditarod now leverages Iridium-based Tracking and Voice Communications used by Enterprise Organizations Worldwide

Iridium-Based Tracking Allows First Opportunity for Fans to "Watch" All Racers Online; Iridium Voice Service Provides Extra Layer of Safety for Participants

BETHESDA, Md. and ANCHORAGE, Alaska - March 4, 2009 /PRNewswire/— March 4, 2009 - The same satellite technology being used to track vehicles, postal packages, airplanes, containers and supplies is now a mandated requirement for mushers participating in the 2009 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC), organizers of the race, tested Iridium-based tracking technology on several dog sleds in 2008. The ITC was so satisfied with the results, service and safety associated with the tracking capability that it mandated all mushers must mount an Iridium-based tracking device, provided by IonEarth, on their sleds. IonEarth is an Iridium value-added reseller (VAR). Roadpost, an Iridium Service Provider, is also supplying Iridium satellite phones to Iditarod staff for safety and operational purposes during this three-week, 1,000-mile race in some of the world's harshest weather and landscapes. "By arming Iditarod mushers and staff with Iridium-based communications, we are continuing to bring a race based on a 10,000-year-old mode of transportation into the 21st century," said Stan Hooley, executive director, ITC.

This year's Iditarod competition kicks-off in Anchorage, Alaska on March 7. IonEarth has developed Iridium-enabled bi-directional global positioning system (GPS) tracking devices, which permit race organizers, volunteers, media and fans to follow the movement of all mushers in near real-time throughout the race at www.iditarod.com.

New Hazard Map showing possible liquefaction sites in California

New hazard maps that describe the probability of earthquake-induced liquefaction in Northern Santa Clara Valley are now available from the U.S Geological Survey (USGS.)

These maps depict the likelihood of liquefaction based on three earthquake scenarios: a magnitude 7.8 on the northern segment of the San Andreas Fault, comparable to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a magnitude 6.7 on the Hayward Fault, comparable to the 1868 Hayward earthquake, and a magnitude 6.9 on the Calaveras Fault.

The highest probability of liquefaction — approximately 33 to 37 percent — is most likely to occur under the San Andreas Fault earthquake scenario in areas along major creeks where the water table is relatively shallow. These results will be published in the February issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA).

Until now, scientists have offered only qualitative maps of the liquefaction hazard in the Santa Clara Valley. These new probabilistic maps detail the degree of hazard within broader hazard zones more precisely than previous maps and provide a clearer interpretation of actual risk for map users.

Liquefaction is a physical process that occurs during some earthquakes, causing loose, wet soil to act like water rather than solid ground. The liquefied sand or soil may flow and the ground may move and crack, causing damage to surface structures and underground utilities. Liquefaction occurred in the valley during both the 1868 Hayward and 1906 San Francisco earthquakes.

High resolution copies of the new maps, "Scenario Liquefaction Hazard Maps of Santa Clara Valley, Northern California," by Thomas L. Holzer, Thomas E. Noce and Michael J. Bennett of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA, are available from the U.S. Geological Survey at earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/liquefaction/.

Update on Iridium Satellite Constellation

BETHESDA, MD – February 13, 2009 – Iridium Satellite LLC announces that it has completed its service hole patch in relation to its recent satellite loss.  The company announced on February 11, 2009 that it lost an operational satellite as the result of a collision with a non-operational Russian satellite.  The company ...