The RockSTAR Two-Way Messenger is a truly global communication device and tracking system. It allows you to send and receive short messages from anywhere on Earth with a clear view of the sky. It works far beyond the reach of Wi-Fi and GSM networks.

Coverage Data sheet

Global Personal Tracking and Messaging Device

The handheld unit is waterproof, ruggedized, and built to withstand the most challenging environments. It’s an ideal safety device for adventurers, field workers, science expeditions, remote racing events, and anyone travelling outside cell phone range frequently, or for an extended period of time.

The tracker will wake up on a regular basis, obtain a position using the GPS satellite network, and then transmit that position back to Ground Control HQ in seconds using the Iridium satellite network. The message is relayed to us from Iridium and then we visualize the positions on an easy-to-use web-based viewer.

The RockSTAR also allows short messages (like SMS, social media updates, and short emails) to be sent using a paired Bluetooth device, such as a smartphone, and the Messenger app. This allows for full two-way communication wherever you are, even when out of mobile network range.


Designed for company, government and fleet use

Whether you have one device or 1,000 devices, with Ground Control’s ‘CORE’ web-based platform, managing them is easy. You can sub-divide devices into groups to suit your needs, and set up multiple users with different permissions. For instance, some staff could be set up to simply ‘view’ positions, whereas others could be given permissions to send commands and configure devices in the field.

  • Track all of your field workers’ position from a single screen
  • Set up and track against waypoints
  • Monitor alerts from devices
  • Set up geo-fences to provide early warning if a device has gone inside / outside a certain area
  • Add line rental and credits to your devices
  • Web-based, for access anywhere
  • Full support from experienced staff.
  • 5-button keypad plus specific ‘alert’ button
  • Bright OLED screen for information display
  • Full two-way communication system
  • Over-the-air reconfiguration of key parameters
  • USB connection for charging and for data transfer
  • Truly global operation using the Iridium satellite network
  • Long battery life (over 2500 transmissions on a single charge)
  • Bluetooth LE for advanced messaging (requires Bluetooth LE-compatible phone/tablet)
  • Powered By: Internal battery, rechargeable via USB
  • Battery Life: Up to three weeks transmitting every 15 mins, up to three months transmitting once per hour, up to 12 months transmitting once per day
  • Tracking Options: Various tracking options from every five seconds to 12 hours
  • Alert Options: Red button alert, timer alert, dead man’s switch, Temperature (high/low) alert, External power loss
  • Transmits Using: Iridium Short Burst Data
  • Size: 7″ x 3″ x 1.4″ (144 x 76 x 36mm) – plus antenna
  • Weight: 0.67 lbs (303 grams)
  • Waterproofing: IP-67 (submersion up to 1m for 30 mins)
  • Other Certifications: FCC and CE MIL-810 F/G (ruggedness)
  • Ideal For: Handheld use, personnel etc. Temporary vehicle/yacht mounting using Soft Pouch, Permanent vehicle/yacht mounting using Quick Release Mount

Line rental is paid in blocks of 1 month, and allows the RockSTAR to exchange information with the Iridium satellite network. You only pay for months in which you wish to use the RockSTAR. No annual contract is required. Line rental costs $23.00 per month and includes access to The CORE management system for monitoring your devices.

Credits are used each time you transmit. 1 credit is used per tracking position or per 50 characters of message sent or received. 1 credit is also used if you check your mailbox and there are no messages waiting (A mailbox check). Credits do not expire unless you do not use your account at all for 12 months. Credits are shared/pooled between all of the devices on your account.

per Credit:
Bundle Price:
Line Rental (per month):
50 Credits
100 Credits
200 Credits
500 Credits
1,000 Credits
2,000 Credits
5,000 Credits

With each RockSTAR unit you will receive:

  • The RockSTAR unit
  • A USB charger
  • 0.3m USB cable
  • Quick Start Card

*For full details of our Short Burst Data airtime plans, please visit our SBD pricing page.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does it work?

RockSTAR uses the Iridium satellite network. Specifically, it uses an Iridium service called ‘short burst data’ (SBD). You can learn more about SBD here. At the heart of RockSTAR is an Iridium 9602 modem.

Can RockSTAR send e-mail or SMS messages?

Yes, you can use the device to send/receive short messages – either using the device itself, with pre-sent messages, or by linking with an iPhone/iPad/Android device to send custom messages.

Messages sent from the device itself are always sent to the group of people you nominate in the management system – i.e. any message will be sent to all configured responders; you can’t choose a specific person.

Messages sent via the Bluetooth link (using the Messenger app) can be sent to any destination, via either email address or cell/mobile phone number.

In all cases, people can reply to those messages, via e-mail or SMS, and the messages will come back to either the device or the Messenger app respectively.

Does the unit work indoors?

As with all satellite-based devices, the better view of the sky the unit has, the better it will perform.

RockSTAR units use two sets of satellites: GPS satellites in order to get a position fix, and Iridium satellites to transmit that position back to base. The GPS signal is weaker than the Iridium signal.

Typically, if the RockSTAR is near to a window inside then it may be able to obtain a GPS fix and transmit, although it will take longer than normal, and will therefore use more battery power.

If the unit is deep inside a building then it’s unlikely to get a fix or transmit very well, and will therefore use up a lot of battery quite quickly. However, we have had devices transmit successfully from inside caves, fridges, under the seats of cars, and so on – so it is possible, just not guaranteed, and not as reliable as usual.

As a rule, the better view of the sky you can provide for the RockSTAR, the better it will perform and the longer the battery will last.

What's the difference between a RockSTAR and a Yellowbrick / YB3?

RockSTAR units and YB units are both manufactured by Ground Control, and they are identical in terms of hardware.

The difference is in the management system access, ‘The Core’, which you get as part of the RockSTAR package.

RockSTAR, and the accompanying management system, are designed for corporate, government and fleet use – i.e. you have multiple units, and want to manage them all from the same screen, behind a secure login.

YBs come with a cut-down ‘blog’ which can display one tracker at a time and is ideal for individual adventurers or expeditions, but not for fleets of units.

In short, if you are looking for a fleet of devices then the RockSTAR is the correct choice. If you are looking for a single tracker for personal use, or you are looking to rent units for a short period of time, YB would be the correct choice.


Want to know more?

Complete the form, or call / email us to see if the RockSTAR is a good choice for your handheld tracking and two-way communication requirements. With 20 years of experience, we can help you make the best choices for your critical communication needs.

We're not invested in selling you a specific product or connections, just the best solution for your needs.