BGAN from Stratos Connectivity Plays Vital Role in Expanding Archaeological Study in Remote Mongolia

--National Geographic-supported project searches for tomb of Genghis Khan, with help of virtual explorers worldwide--

Bethesda, Maryland (May 5, 2011) – Stratos Global, the leading global provider of advanced mobile and fixed-site remote communications solutions, today announced it has continued its support of the world-renowned survey that is identifying archaeological sites in Genghis Khan’s homeland – Mongolia’s most sacred heritage area.

During the expedition’s second phase, completed last summer, Stratos supplied Inmarsat BGAN mobile satellite communications service to researchers as they used digital imagery to search for archaeological sites in the remote valley of the ancient Mongolian empire. Stratos equipment supplier ViaSat also continued its support by donating its VRT-100 rugged BGAN terminal for this project.

The Valley of the Khans (VOTK) research project (, supported by the joint National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program, is led by University of California San Diego research associate Albert Yu-Min Lin, Ph.D. Dr. Lin initiated this project in 2009 using a new, non-invasive scientific approach.

The project is performing a non-destructive archaeological search, utilizing modern digital tools from a variety of disciplines, including digital imagery, computer vision, non-destructive surveying, and on-site digital archaeology.

Expanded Expedition Uses Human Computation Component

The 2010 VOTK expedition, utilizing twice as many professionals as the 2009 inaugural search, was expanded to include a search area of 3,000 kilometres. This expansion was made possible by using satellite imaging and an innovative Human Computation toolkit.

BGAN from Stratos made it possible for the 2010 VOTK expedition to deploy the Human Computation toolkit. Before entering a new region, the team would use its BGAN connection to enable members of the general public to serve as “virtual explorers” online to help search through and tag GeoEye-1 satellite imagery of the region in which the team was operating.

Each morning, the team would again use its BGAN connection to download annotations provided by virtual explorers – then use those annotations to direct its ground search. This application enabled the team to significantly increase its search area and deploy a multi-stage approach to discovery, including: satellite imagery; aerial imagery; and geomagnetic surveys such as ground-penetrating radar and electro-magnetometers.

“The expansion of our expedition would have been impossible without BGAN from Stratos,” said Dr. Lin. “BGAN provided us with reliable voice and data connectivity in one of the world’s most remote regions. This helped us maintain the highest levels of safety and productivity while in the field. In addition to the human computation toolkit, we used BGAN for photo transmission, blogging and to secure critical medical consultations from the field.”

The research team now is analyzing its field data and expects to announce its results by the end of this year. The VOTK search seeks to locate archaeological sites from the period of Genghis Khan without disturbing them, thus shedding light on Mongolia’s rich historical heritage and enabling conservation and education in this rapidly changing landscape. The search maintains respect for local customs while enabling protective measures through organizations such as UNESCO. The VOTK research project was one of National Geographic Adventure magazine’s 2010 Adventures of the Year.

Stratos President and CEO Jim Parm said, “It is gratifying to know that our continued contribution of BGAN is helping support pioneering research that is of vast historical significance. This is the latest demonstration of BGAN’s effectiveness in the world’s harshest, most remote environments.”

Those seeking more information on the Valley of the Khans or crowdsourcing technology can contact the project team at

About BGAN from Stratos
Stratos is one of the world’s largest distributors of Inmarsat’s BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) service, a mobile satellite offering that uses portable, lightweight terminals to provide video (guaranteed up to 384 kbps streaming), high-speed data (up to 492 kbps) and voice connectivity anywhere in the world. Since its introduction in late 2005, BGAN from Stratos has been widely adopted by media organizations, military agencies, first responders and professionals in many other industries worldwide. Stratos now boasts more than 15,000 BGAN activations in 185 countries.

Stratos customers fully utilize The Stratos Advantage, a suite of value-added services that help elevate BGAN from Stratos far above baseline offerings. These value-added services, including Stratos Dashboard, provide users with cost control, firewall management, full traffic information, pre-paid facilities, high security options, easy VPN access, messaging services and a full range of IP options. More information on BGAN from Stratos is available at

About Stratos
Stratos is the world's trusted leader for vital communications. Stratos offers the most powerful and extensive portfolio of remote communications solutions including mobile and fixed satellite and microwave services. More than 20,000 customers use Stratos products and industry-leading value-added services to optimize communications performance. Stratos serves U.S. and international government, military, first responder, NGO, oil and gas, industrial, maritime, aeronautical, enterprise, and media users on seven continents and across the world's oceans. Stratos is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inmarsat plc. For more information, visit

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Carla Riggs
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Valley of the Khans BGAN from Stratos

BGAN from Stratos provided Dr. Lin and his research team with reliable voice and data connectivity in one of the world's most remote regions.