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Trimble GPS Helps Respond to Forest Fires in Portugal

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 1, 2001 - Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) announced today that it has teamed with Portugal Telecom Inovao SA and the Alvo Natural Park to tackle the frequent problem of forest fires in the region. With the help of Trimble's Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, the region's firefighting services are better able to accurately locate and quickly respond to forest fires.
The Alvo Natural Park is part of the Portuguese Institute for Nature Conservation consisting of 7,220 hectares (17,500 acres) of mountainous terrain. Forest fires constantly threaten the land, especially during the hot summer months. Despite having the physical resources in place to tackle any outbreaks, one of the major difficulties that the fire fighters face is navigating through the wilderness to reach the site of the fire. In addition, there is often limited knowledge about forest tracks, suitability for vehicles and the location of natural water supplies.
In order to overcome these problems, the Alvo Natural Park has implemented the Emergencies Support System from Portugal Telecom Inovao SA. The system works through a combination of GPS technology, short messaging service (SMS) data communications, and well-structured up-to-date cartography. A local Geographic Information System (GIS) provides the cartography which helps classify the forest tracks in the park in terms of their condition and suitability for vehicles.
"Forest fires are a frequent and natural occurrence during the heat of the summer," said Vitorio Martins, one of the managers for Alvo Natural Park. "However, they can cause untold damage to the landscape and wildlife - so we are keen to do everything we can to keep them under control. The Emergencies Support System is easy to implement and use - and helps us to utilize our resources in a much more efficient manner. Already we have noticed a marked difference in our ability to respond quickly and to accurately locate and control fires."
Miguel Serrano, project manager from Portugal Telecom Inovao SA said: "The combination of GPS, SMS and GIS technologies helps provide a practical and efficient method of preventing and containing forest fires. This is a classic example of modern technologies working to preserve nature."
Details about the forest tracks and vehicles are captured and fed into Trimble's CrossCheck® GSM mobile communicator, which navigates the emergency services to the determined fire location and gives them details of the nearest water source. Several emergency situations can be handled simultaneously, enabling the park's fire service to save vital time in locating the fires and work more effectively as a team to minimize the fire damage caused to the landscape and wildlife.
Trimble's CrossCheck provides fleet managers an easy, cost-effective solution to improve operations, efficiency and security through location and wireless communications. It can be used for virtually all fleet applications--from armored car transport to limousine service and from utility fleets to construction equipment. The mobile unit integrates a GPS receiver, Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology and Trimble's unique IQEvent EngineTM (IQEE) firmware into a single, low-cost mobile positioning and communications system. The communicator sends GPS data and messages from mobile units to base stations running Trimble's FleetVision® software.
About Trimble
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.

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Media:    Lea Ann McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808

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