Hendrik Ehlers Consult



Due to international Demining regulations, all operations must have communication with their respective commands in order to perform effective evacuation/assistance in case of an accident or any war related threat. This is achieved through HF radios and mobile satellite phones. Whereas HF can be unreliable in many meteorological conditions, low speed satellite phone is more reliable but has higher running costs. As a result both are only used for high priority communication. Important data on daily work documentation, like spreadsheets and digital images, logistical needs, staff etc take very long until they reach the command if in the country, by slow messenger or between countries, via expensive courier services.

With contemporary technologies and software we can build an IT solution that links the most important points of data collection via high speed ISDN satellite feed like a small business network in an office. This is called VPN, which stands for virtual private network. Once such a system is installed, all data and mail can be shared online in almost real-time with lower running costs than existing satellite technology. The advantages apart from massively saving project funds is the timely flow of project information and a much better documentation of the work.
The International Desk in Windhoek serves as a hub for the network. The mobile MiVA Container, currently in the Regional HQ in Ondjiva, Kunene Province, serves as a hub for Angola. The hub for Mozambique is the office in the capital Maputo and another mobile station moves with the mine clearance operation in Limpopo, Gaza Province. Selected folders can additionally be shared with donors or the public website of MgM.
In order to connect the stations via Internet, we would have to purchase and set up 2 x M4 ISDN satellite terminals in Ondjiva, and Limpopo. They are to be connected to existing PCs and Notebooks. A special software package and service enables our RedHat Linux and Microsoft XP infrastructure to share files and mail between the hub and the outstations. Via the hub, the stations can also connect to the internet and internet email. Essentially, this provides us with a VPN between all of our suitably equipped field locations (ISDN M4 satphone).