Cobham Satcom has sent the first terminal for the new Iridium Certus satellite communications service to a vessel operator.
This milestone was achieved after Cobham Satcom received certification for the Sailor 4300 terminal series in August.
Sailor 4300 L-band connects to Iridium’s Next constellation of satellites for two-way communications between a vessel and the shore and other vessels.
The US$3Bn constellation so far incorporates 65 low Earth orbit satellites as of the end of August, with another 10 yet to be launched.
Sailor 4300 will use Iridium Certus, which is designed to serve as a primary solution or as a VSAT-companion. The terminal will provide multiple high-definition voice lines, alongside IP data speeds starting at 352 kbps.
These speeds could be increased to 704 kbps in future through a firmware update and once the complete constellation is commissioned.
Cobham Satcom integrated the Iridium broadband core transceiver module into the antenna of the terminal for more flexible placement, lower installation costs and optimised link performance.
Sailor 4300 will be used with the global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS) system when Iridium is able to offer this critical safety and emergency communications service, expected to start in early 2020.
Iridium gained approvals at IMO in May to begin preparations and testing for providing a GMDSS service.
Thales has developed a terminal for Iridium Certus that is incorporated in its Vesselink service and Lars Thrane is working with Iridium to develop terminals for GMDSS.