Issue: Apr 2006

GPS/GSM-based vehicle tracking devices as well as the network backbone architecture for StarChase

StarChase tagging and tracking pursuit management system is being introduced to the law enforcement market this year

by John Larkin

Archetype, Inc. has been selected as the supplier of GPS/GSM-based vehicle tracking devices as well as the network backbone architecture for the new StarChase tagging and tracking pursuit management system being introduced to the law enforcement market this year.

The patented StarChase system was developed to alleviate the need for dangerous, high-speed chases resulting from suspects fleeing from law enforcement. It uses an electronic tracking tag that is ejected from a compressed-air launcher and adheres to the suspect vehicle upon contact. The tag, embedded in a specially formulated epoxy-adhesive compound, contains Archetype's StarLert ST-1 GPS/GSM device. The ST-1 transmits the vehicle's position coordinates through GSM cellular networks to a secure server. The server then pushes location-based information to authorized users via a password and SSL-protected Web portal.

"We chose Archetype's TerraTrace solution due to its competitive cost, high accuracy, inherent robustness and extensive compatibility with virtually every major GSM cellular carrier worldwide," said Sean Sawyer, CEO of StarChase.
"TerraTrace provides extensive layers of encryption and security to ensure the preservation of the chain of evidence, which is important in the law enforcement sector. The historical data recorded by TerraTrace is fully court admissible."

StarChase successfully completed proof-of-concept trials in July 2005, and initial beta tests are being conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department this year. According to Sawyer, StarChase expects to offer the system commercially by the end of the year. Sawyer added that StarChase will also introduce a new covert tracking module and a hard-wired tracking module, both of which will also be based on the Archetype GPS/GSM and back-end network infrastructure.

"StarChase is an ideal platform to showcase the virtuosity and power of the TerraTrace architecture," said Jason Cooner, CEO of Archetype. "The ruggedized StarLert module is designed to operate under the most extreme environmental conditions, and the internal GPS/A-GPS receiver provides uninterrupted position tracking even if the vehicle enters a covered parking garage or in deep urban canyons, which can block or attenuate the GPS signals. Moreover, the robust network communications infrastructure offers a combination of security and flexibility to suit a wide range of law enforcement scenarios."

Archetype, Inc. is a privately held corporation based in Birmingham, Ala. Founded in 2002, the company has established a position as the leading developer of GSM-based, Web-enabled GPS tracking solutions for applications such as Homeland Security, logistics, enterprise resource planning and supply chain management.

StarChase LLC is a company specializing in tagging and tracking pursuit management solutions for the law enforcement sector. The privately held company is based in Virginia Beach, Va., and has been in operation since 2001. The StarChase products are patent protected in several countries, including the United States.

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