Satellite operator Intelsat has introduced its flexible communications for smaller maritime terminals to open connectivity for offshore support vessels, tugs, workboats and fishing vessels
Intelsat worked with technology providers and two distributors to introduce and test its FlexMaritime service for 45-cm terminals on vessels. Flex45 VSAT services can be delivered through Intelsat’s high-throughput satellite (HTS) technology.
So far, KNS and Intellian have qualified their smaller antenna systems on the Intelsat FlexMaritime network.
This includes terminals with 45-cm diameter antennas for Flex45, which has been tested on vessels by launch partners Seasat and World-Link Communications. These 45-cm terminals from KNS and Intellian come with a choice of a separate or integrated antenna control unit and a modem manufactured by ST Engineering iDirect.
Small enough to hand-carry aboard vessels, they are easy to install. Flex45 provides bandwidth of 6 Mbps on the downlink and 2 Mbps on the uplink through these terminals.
Intelsat said this enables all online applications from “accessing real-time online weather forecasts to live-streaming on social media”.
Intelsat director of maritime products Shane Rossbacher said this 45-cm antenna class on FlexMaritime enables VSAT connectivity on smaller vessels in different markets. “By combining new 45-cm antenna technology with the FlexMaritime global HTS satellite network, we have enabled smaller commercial and recreational vessels to easily and affordably access the same great connectivity using a smaller and cost-effective antenna form factor,” said Mr Rossbacher.
Intelsat said this maritime mobility solution was ideal for smaller ships “looking for fast, affordable and reliable broadband connectivity”.
Extensive sea trials were conducted earlier this year on board emergency response and rescue vessel Esvagt Innovator in the North Sea with Seasat deploying an Intelsat-approved KNS SuperTrack C4 antenna using the Flex45 service.
“We conducted extensive testing and sea trials of FlexMaritime’s 45-cm service using the KNS C4 antenna, with the service consistently meeting or exceeding our performance expectations,” said Seasat co-founder and chief executive Kim Martinsen. “During testing, our crew stayed connected during some very harsh sea conditions,” he said.
“This is a great application. Our compact and lightweight antenna is easy to install, and the flexibility of Intelsat’s service allows end-users to quickly and easily dial bandwidth up or down to meet their real-time needs.”
KNS confirmed its SuperTrack C4 antenna provided connectivity of up to 6 Mbps data speeds during these sea trials in harsh sea conditions.
Intellian also explained how its v45C antenna and Intelsat HTS provide high throughput as previously available in a 60-cm or larger diameter antenna.
These v45C antennas share technology developed for Intellian’s advanced NX Series antennas, which range in size from 85-cm to 150-cm, and from this year includes the v60E antenna.
NX Series have a single cable for power and data transmission, simple commissioning and diagnostics via the built-in AptusNX antenna management software.
Intellian Technologies chief executive Eric Sung expects vessel operators in new markets will deploy VSAT technology. “The combination of antenna design and Intelsat’s FlexMaritime service will deliver a cost-effective VSAT service to customers in need of a compact, global, high-speed connectivity solution,” said Mr Sung.
“We expect this to open up new markets, and we look forward to collaborating with customers to help them gain the best possible results from the combination of HTS connectivity and Intellian products.”
Satellite communications and ship connectivity will be discussed during Riviera Maritime Media’s free technical and operational webinars in 2021. Sign up to attend on our events page