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NASCAR Team Calls on Spacenet for Converged Communications Network

Satellite Technology

Satellite Technology Feature Article

February 10, 2009

NASCAR Team Calls on Spacenet for Converged Communications Network

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director

Most of the communications systems — whether wireline or some form of wireless — we talk about focus on the more traditional enterprise and SMB deployments, but there is a whole market for the mobile communications space, for which satellite-based solutions are ideal.

For instance, when 43 drivers line up for the official start of the NASCAR Sprint (News - Alert) Cup season at Sunday’s Daytona 500, the Michael Waltrip Racing team will be using a new satellite communications system from Spacenet. 
Racing teams are effectively run from a command center in full-size trailers, which travel from track to track on a weekly basis to serve as communications hubs during race weekends, providing any and all available race related information to drivers and crews, disseminating data and video to multiple monitors and providing voice communication between the trailers and crewmembers.
For any business, its communications system is the heart of its operation, and nowhere is this more true than during the several hours between the white and checkered flags. Michael Waltrip Racing has deployed Spacenet’s Connexstar Performance series, a portable satellite solution, to support its communications needs, which extends from the track to its engineering teams in Charlotte, North Carolina. The system was designed by Orbital Enterprises, an expert in both fixed and mobile satellite communications.
Spacenet provides satellite and hybrid networking solutions for enterprises, SMBs, and government facilities in the U.S., and currently has more than 100,000 endpoints in operation, including at several Fortune 500 firms. It offers any combination of carrier grade voice service, broadband networking, and real-time high-quality video, to individual sites or any number of remote facilities.
The Connexstar Performance solution, not surprisingly what it says is its highest performance offering, was developed to provide converged voice, video, and data capabilities. In addition to its MWR deployment, the Spacenet says its solution is an ideal alternative for other scenarios that require high performance networking in non-traditional environments, like emergency response, oilfields, mining, as well as more traditional fixed locations.
Anyone following NASCAR knows a few seconds can mean the difference between the winners circle and runner up — just ask Kurt Busch (.002 seconds behind Ricky Craven in 2003), Kyle Busch (.005 behind Jamie McMurray in Daytona in 2007), or Jeff Gordon (.006 behind Kevin Harvick in Atlanta in 2001). In fact, four of the 14 closest finishes in NASCAR history have come in races run in Daytona.
“In the NASCAR world, speed and performance is everything,” said Michael Waltrip Racing Director of Information Technologies Patrick Hughes.  “Shaving seconds off the clock can make the difference between winning and losing,”
Hughes said the team explored several options, but settled on Spacenet because of its service guarantees, which exceeded those of any competitor. MWR hopes that its new communications network will allow it to react more quickly, resulting in a fast start to a long race season.

Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Managing Editor of TMCnet, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to nearly 3,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erik Linask

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