ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Lockheed Martin's [NYSE: LMT] Savi Technology announced the first-of-its-kind technology device that can switch from satellite or terrestrial wireless systems to continuously monitor the location and condition of shipments anywhere and at anytime. Called the Portable In-Transit Tracking Unit (PITU), the new-generation device about the size of a digital video recorder connects communications among Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices, GPS location and SatCom systems, global cellular networks and sensors that detect environmental and security changes.
Developed over the past year, the first PITU systems have been purchased and shipped to several NATO defense forces in support of the International Security Assistance Force, formed by the United Nations to help stabilize activities in Afghanistan. PITU was developed in response to customer requirements to automatically track the whereabouts and condition of both cargo containers and their contents, whether in range of land-based tracking systems or in more remote locations such as deserts or oceans where there is no tracking infrastructure.
"This complete and compact mobile system is the only three-way communication tracking solution today that combines so many wireless tracking and sensor-monitoring capabilities," said David Stephens, chief executive officer of Savi Technology. "It can utilize a wide range of tracking technologies, acting as an RFID tag, a sensor device and a RFID reader, depending on the customer's needs at any given time."
"Organizations operating large and complex global supply chains are often responsible for highly sensitive shipments that demand the utmost vigilance," Stephens added. "Now, customers can not only monitor these high-value shipments continuously from anywhere on the planet, but also benefit from three-way communication with the technologies that track them."
Three-way communications enables PITU to capture location data from GPS and RFID-tagged supplies inside the container and transmit that information to either ground-based RFID or telecommunications networks or to Iridium satellite Short Burst Data systems. PITU leverages the best available system depending on the cargo's location and customer needs.
The ability to provide three-way communications between wireless systems and the hardware devices ensures that accurate, real-time information provides "ground truth" on the status of in-transit shipments.
NATO has tested and validated the Portable In-Transit Tracking solution through various communications modes by monitoring container shipments throughout more than 10 European countries. The solution is tailored for NATO nations supporting coalition shipments where there is no cellular communications, such as through Pakistan, Afghanistan or for organizations supporting United Nations' goodwill or disaster relief missions.
PITU is designed to improve the safety and security of high-value or sensitive shipments—such as medical supplies, hazardous materials and ammunition—by minimizing the high cost of correcting unplanned events such as delays and misroutes or critical system failures.
Developed along with Vari-Trac, a satellite communications technology provider, PITU beams real-time information to the Savi SmartChain software platform for managing assets, shipments and consignments.
About Savi Technology
As a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], Savi Technology is a leading provider of a new class of Smart Asset Management solutions and services for public sector and commercial supply chains worldwide. Savi SmartChain enterprise-level software leverages low-power wireless sensor networks for real-time information to enhance balance sheets by optimizing the operational management, effectiveness, security, and profitable return of assets either in-transit or at rest. SmartChain turns data from all types of automatic identification and data capture technologies, including DASH7 Radio Frequency Identification, into actionable information that is valued from the physical edge of operations to the board room.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2009 sales of $44.5 billion.