Tracking coalition containers in Iraq

June 1, 2003
IN Iraq, coalition ground and air forces used a dazzling array of sensors to observe and target their opponents. For the more mundane task of tracking

IN Iraq, coalition ground and air forces used a dazzling array of sensors to observe and target their opponents. For the more mundane task of tracking essential cargo such as food and water, the coalition turned to Vistar and its equipment reseller, CorpTen International, and to Titan Systems.

Vistar, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is a subsidiary of NSI Global and produces satellite-based wireless tracking equipment. Its GlobalWave MT2000 data terminals are sold directly and through resellers. In addition, Vistar collects revenue from the operation of the GlobalWave wireless satellite network in North America. The technology is licensed to service providers outside North America. In Iraq, wireless service is provided by DataStar. Information about the company can be found at

Titan Systems has deployed 700 of the Vistar MT2000 data terminals on vehicles and containers to provide real time tracking. The systems utilize a global positioning satellite receiver antenna and a long-life battery that can operate up to three years without recharging. In addition to tracking containers in Iraq, the US military is using the technology in Afghanistan to enhance cargo security. The system tracks containers without involvement of the driver.

The tracking systems used in Iraq are the same as those supplied commercially in North America. The terminals are capable of withstanding the harsh desert environment and can be pressure-washed along with the container. They are capable of transmitting information on container location and speed as well as cargo volume and temperature. The system sends alarms when preset parameters are exceeded. The two-way communication capability of the system allows users to interrogate containers about location and condition.

Corp Ten International is based in Baltimore, Maryland, and specializes in providing services to the military and other government agencies. It has provided equipment to users in more than 25 countries. More information is available at

About the Author

Gary Macklin

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