European Space Agency

PERUSE - Personal Safety System Utilising Satellite combined with Emerging Technologies


The Peruse Project will develop a Wireless Personal Alarm (WPA) solution which will be carried by or worn on a person and allows the user to signal for help at the touch of a button.
Upon activation of an SOS alarm, the WPA will be capable of transmitting a low power signal to a satellite communications handset, which will forward a message to an authorized number, including the identity of the person in distress, as well as their current location. The WPA will also have the potential to transmit the user's current state of health and local environmental parameters.
It is likely that recipient of the user's SOS signal will be a suitably equipped Emergency Monitoring Centre with which the user has agreed pre-defined steps to be carried out in the event of an emergency.


The key issues addressed include the development of a wireless personal alarm WPA and a dongle BTD device taking into account user requirements and the acceptable trade off between size, cost, accuracy of location and battery autonomy.


The product/ service consists of a stylish miniature communications WPA device which can be discreetly worn on or carried by the user. When activated, the device will establish a wireless communication link with a predefined contact (e.g. police) that will easily be able to identify:

  • The person in distress (using automatic identification number)
  • The nature of the distress (by verbal or other communication)
  • The location of the person in distress (using GPS or other positioning system)
  • And, optionally, the current state of health of the user and respond accordingly

Satellite communication handsets (e.g. Hughes 7100 Thuraya) will thus for the first time be adapted for emergency communications. No longer will the user be obliged to perform lengthy sequences of key strokes or to move the handset to optimise signal strength prior to sending an emergency message. There are currently no known competitors for this potentially life saving technology, for which Securecom has filed Irish and European Patent Applications.


It is intended to develop 2 prototypes within the scope of this project:

  • A Wireless Personal Alarm (WPA) which will be carried by or worn on a person and allows the user to signal for help at the touch of a button and the second,
  • A Dongle (BTD), which provides a satellite communications handset with a low power wireless link to the WPA.

Refer to the diagram below for an overview of the system architecture.

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Building Blocks

The WPA device will comprise of the following components and subassemblies:

  1. Low power RF transceiver
  2. Battery
  3. LED Display
  4. Control Buttons
  5. Central Processing Unit

These components and sub-assemblies are inter-connected as described in the following diagram:

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The BTD has the following components:

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Where (6) is the serial interface and power supply connector.


The design and development plan is summarized as follows:

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Current status

Securecom Completes Peruse Project Securecom Technologies has developed two bluetooth devices over the course of the ESA supported ARTES 3 project PERUSE. Securecom are in the process of commercialising these new wireless products and will be talking to key players in the satellite communications industry over the next weeks and months.


The Wireless Personal Alarm is an 18g discrete personal alarm that can be worn or carried by the user. Once activated, the alarm establishes a bluetooth communication link to the user's GSM or Satellite phone which sends an SMS message to a predefined emergency contact (this could be a monitoring service, a colleague, friend or carer). The SMS contains the identity of the person in distress, the nature of the distress and the location of the person (using GPS/LBS).

Fig 1: Wireless Personal Alarm connecting to Satellite handset via the Satellite Bluetooth Dongle.

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Benefits to the user:

  • User can raise the alarm using only one hand. leaving the other hand free,
  • No need to remember emergency numbers; The user doesn't have to remember the number or search their address book on their handset when in a dangerous situation - just press the button, and the alarm is programmed to do the rest,
  • Ultra discrete; the user doesnt have to even speak or loose eye contact with an assailant while raising an alarm,
  • Ideally suited to lone workers, working in hazardous working environments, who require a greater degree of safety,
  • Alarm can be raised even when the phone is out of reach of the user (up to 10 metres in standard alarm device, and 100 metres in the advanced version.


The Satellite Bluetooth Dongle was designed by Securecom Technologies Ltd so as to bluetooth enable satellite handsets so the Wireless Personal Alarm would also be of use to satellite communications users.

Fig 2: Wireless Personal Alarm (front, back and side)

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Benefits to the user:

  • Increased personal safety in remote areas,
  • Discrete communication, user does not need to make a voice call,
  • User can remain indoors while handset is out doors, as no line of sight is needed for bluetooth connection,
  • Wireless dial up networking functionality,
  • Allows handset to connect with other bluetooth devices.

Commercialisation: The Satellite Bluetooth Dongle and the Wireless Personal will be bundled together with a bluetooth headset, a USB dingle and a CD-ROM with operating instructions.


Status date

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 13:31