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Thursday, 03 December 2020 11:21

Inmarsat terminates Fleet 77 satellite service

Inmarsat has announced that its Fleet 77 maritime satellite service has come to an end.

Thursday, 10 September 2020 09:49

A giant leap forward for maritime IoT

Author: Andrew Loretta, director, maritime business development for ORBCOMM.

We are proud to be a part of the recently announced partnership with AAC Clyde Space AB and SAAB AB that is ushering in a new era in maritime communications through the development of the next generation of a space-based very high frequency (VHF) Data Exchange System (VDES). As the maritime industry embraces digitalisation, we expect a greater emphasis on secure data exchange and ship to shore communication—and we look forward to facilitating this shift in operations through our technology in conjunction with our partners.

As long-term providers of automatic identification system (AIS) solutions and a touchpoint for space-based maritime data, we at ORBCOMM relish the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits that the significantly increased bandwidth that VDES will offer not just our maritime customers but the supply chain as a whole.

With up to 32 times more bandwidth than currently offered by AIS and two-way communication, the ground-breaking new system is the next natural step for satellite technology and will allow users to completely rethink the way they manage their fleets. VDES bridges the gap between ship and shore in a way that the industry has been crying out for.

One of the changes we are most excited about is how innovators now have an open playing field to craft interesting technical solutions specifically for the maritime world without having to scale back their imaginations to match the limited accessibility. The sky is literally the limit once these new satellites come into play and we are keen to work with newcomers and support existing companies with bringing their visions to life so that they can propel this industry forward.

We have already seen how our AIS data is used not just for real-time vessel and asset tracking, but also as a base line from which interesting insights can be drawn about the global fleet. A good example is a recent article by maritime expert and Navigate PR director Bill Lines, who used our partner Marine Traffic’s data in conjunction with information from the Baltic Exchange to create a snapshot of tanker operating expenses.  

We already know that VDES can be integrated with existing vessel systems and we are keen to see how ship operators, managers and equipment manufacturers will use this data highways to improve navigation, boost safety, enforce regulations, reduce emissions via fuel consumption, and improve on-board decision making by delivering data-driven insight.

Work on the project begins next month when AAC Clyde Space will begin manufacturing the satellite that will boast a VDES payload from Saab. We expect to complete the in-orbit VDES capability demonstration of the first EPIC 3U satellite in the first quarter 2023 and are happy to say that ORBCOMM customers can expect to receive AIS data from the new satellite and so will benefit from the project as it comes on line.

As a larger constellation of VDES satellites is contemplated, we look forward to being the conduit for better-quality data in larger quantities. Our considerable IoT experience puts us in a prime position to reap the benefits of the technology as it evolves, and we are excited to work with our partners and guide them on the best path to maximize the benefits of using VDES technology.

To learn more about the project, we encourage you to watch this video, which features Greg Flessate, ORBCOMM senior vice president and general manager for Government, AIS and Business Operations, as well as AAC Clyde Space chief executive officer Luis Gomes and Saab’s Christer Fuglesang being interviewed by Rachel Carroll, president and managing partner at Edison.

Telenor Satellite in partnership with Intelsat have become the first commercial satellite operators to perform in-orbit servicing of an active satellite in geosynchronous orbit.

Broadband satellite networks and services provider Hughes Network Systems (HUGHES) has announced its participation in the winning consortium, led by the U.K. Government and Bharti Enterprises, that will acquire OneWeb out of bankruptcy. Hughes has agreed in principle to invest $50 million in the consortium.

exactEarth, provider of satellite-AIS data services, has expanded an alliance agreement (the “Amended Agreement”) with one of its existing channel partners (the Partner).

OneWeb has submitted a modification request to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase the number of satellites in its constellation up to 48,000 satellites.

Monday, 30 March 2020 09:37

OneWeb files for bankruptcy

Satellite communications start-up OneWeb has filed for bankruptcy after failing to secure funding it had been negotiating since the beginning of the year.

OneWeb has announced the successful launch of 34 more satellites onboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Lift-off occurred on March 21st at 17:06 UTC. OneWeb’s satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches with signal acquisition anticipated in the coming hours.

Maritime safety has been boosted following the recognition of Iridium’s satellite service as a provider for the international Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) –  giving ship operators more options when protecting vessels and crew, said IEC Telecom.

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