16-17 October 2023
Athens, Greece

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Conference Programme 2022

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EUR 207


Signalling Trouble – How Communications Intelligence Systems Help Search & Rescue Efforts in the Mediterranean

20 May 2022
Practitioners Agenda

Migrants leaving the North African coast bound for Europe often do so in overloaded, flimsy craft barely suitable for the rigours of the crossing. 

Sadly, many drown in the process. Often, the only means of communication the boat's occupants have is a satellite phone provided by the people traffickers. If difficulty strikes, this phone is the only way to raise the alarm in the hope of rescue. 

Communications Intelligence (COMINT) systems are usually associated with militaries which use them to locate and jam hostile hostile radios and communications networks. 

Aircraft supporting the European Union's FRONTEX agency routinely carry COMINT systems which not only detect satellite phone transmissions, but can locate their source, helping pinpoint the boats and their occupants. 

This presentation will detail how these COMINT systems work and the important role they play in helping save lives on the high seas.

Thomas Withington, Editor & Analyst - Armada International