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KVH to transmit AWT's weather data

KVH Industries yesterday announced that it will transmit AWT's high-resolution weather data to subscribing vessels overs its mini-VSAT Broadband network.

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The developer of the BVS weather routing software has become the launch partner for WEATHERlink, which is part of KVH's IP-MobileCast content delivery service.

KVH will use multicasting technology to deliver AWT's high-resolution weather and ocean data to ships at sea for a fixed monthly fee. The AWT data, which includes forecasts with wind, wave, visibility, and currents with tidal stream data, will be updated up to four times per day.

The IP-MobileCast service will support AWT's latest release, BonVoyage System 7 (BVS 7), an onboard voyage optimisation system.

WEATHERlink content delivery is scheduled to begin beta testing this month and to be commercially available by September. All installed KVH TracPhone V-IP series terminals will support this new content after a free over-the-air software upgrade.

The IP-MobileCast service went live last month, when it started delivering daily digital newspapers, television news, sports updates, music, recently released films, and TV shows and series.

"Voyage planning and optimisation are of paramount importance for mariners' safety and also to meet new MARPOL regulations that limit greenhouse gas emissions from ships," said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH chief executive officer.

"Due to these new regulations, shipping companies are facing new challenges, both with requirements to travel at slower speeds to reduce emissions, and with requirements for use of high-cost bunker in many coastal regions. AWT's weather data and voyage planning services affordably delivered with IP-MobileCast will be of great value to help ship officers optimise their voyage plans."

Richard Brown, AWT vice president for products and services, added: "IP-MobileCast's WEATHERlink gives our customers the autonomy to make informed decisions at sea, to optimise passage planning, and to take the ship's current operating factors into consideration."

"We're enabling BVS 7 to automatically open incoming weather data files in the background so that they're ready to go and the user can get to work immediately. Not only will we use IP-MobileCast to deliver wind, sea state, and currents with tidal stream data, we'll also use it for future BVS software versions."

The IP-MobileCast service utilises multicasting technology to deliver large amounts of content to many ships at once, overcoming the high satcom costs typically charged to deliver files for individual use. The new service (patent pending) will enable the content to be delivered over the top of KVH's mini-VSAT Broadband network, while also ensuring that the vessel's mini-VSAT Broadband onboard data speed isn't affected.

KVH's strategy for adding content is to establish partnerships with applications providers, such as AWT for WEATHERlink but also Jeppesen for the upcoming CHARTlink, which will deliver weekly electronic chart database updates.

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