Inmarsat and Lloyd’s Register (LR) are jointly developing connectivity solutions for remote ship surveys
Inmarsat’s communications from its fleet of geostationary satellites will be combined with LR’s classification society services to provide new services using LR Remote, an engineered application for remote vessel inspection. This enables crew members to livestream video, images and audio from on board a ship to an LR technical specialist located elsewhere.
Powered by Inmarsat’s certified application provider (CAP) dedicated bandwidth service Fleet Connect, the service will be available on Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress digital platform, which combines Ka-band connectivity with reliable L-band communications as back-up.
Fleet Connect provides an uninterrupted dedicated satellite link between vessels and seafarers, offering function-specific bandwidth that is independent of business-critical vessel operations or crew communications.
LR Remote can be run remotely without any intervention on board and does not need any additional communications hardware.
“With Fleet Connect’s dedicated connectivity running on the digital Fleet Xpress platform, we can ensure high-speed uninterrupted access so that remote surveyors are guaranteed a solution that is always available and always reliable when it is most important,” said Inmarsat Maritime director of strategy and business development Alberto Perez.
Fleet Connect provides dedicated and secure bandwidth, increasing the potential of remote surveys on vessels where connectivity restraints have previously limited its use.
This approach provides flexibility and 24/7 availability, enabling surveyors to perform surveys efficiently using a blend of techniques.
“Connectivity is a significant enabler in the digitalisation of the maritime industry,” said LR marine and offshore director Mark Darley.
LR and Inmarsat have a mutual goal of unlocking the true potential of technology, “thereby transforming remote compliance and enabling digital class” he added.
“This collaboration ensures our vast certification expertise is accessible anywhere it is needed and demonstrates LR’s commitment to our clients and to the wider industry in safely navigating shipping’s digital transformation.”
Fleet Connect reduces the impact of unexpected situations on vessel operations, where surveyors and crew can rapidly solve problems using remote technology.
LR Remote is another step towards digital class, opening opportunities for using vessel data to demonstrate compliance and driving deeper insight into vessel efficiency and fleet optimisation.
This combined solution is currently being piloted by LR and Inmarsat with clients specialising in gas carriers and bulker carriers.
Their collaboration follows the increased uptake of remote services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic as access to ships and assets became more challenging.
LR has offered remote survey capabilities for at least five years. It said one in three of the 30,000 surveys LR performs each year are completed remotely. In May 2020, LR introduced a team of a global team of remote survey champions to support remote surveys within the marine and offshore industries.