Page 4: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (October 15, 1981)

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February 1 Start

A new, high-quality global sat- ellite communication system for ships at sea, run by INMARSAT, will come into operation on Feb- ruary 1, 1982. INMARSAT is the

International Maritime Satellite

Organization which has 36 mem- ber-States.

A February starting date has been assured by a decision taken by the INMARSAT Council in

London recently at its eighth ses- sion. The Council decided to lease capacity on two existing MARI-

SAT satellites — one serving the

Indian Ocean region, the other the Atlantic Ocean region. IN-

MARSAT has already taken a lease on a Pacific Ocean satellite.

The three satellites comprise the space segment of Comsat Gen- eral's successful system.

Later next year, new satellites on which INMARSAT has leased capacity will start to replace those of the MARISAT system. The new satellites, which are needed to meet expected growth in calls, are: MARECS, maritime version of the European Communications


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Satellite, leased from the Euro- pean Space Agency (ESA). The first MARECS will be placed in orbit over the Atlantic Ocean by the end of this year. Its launch vehicle is the European Ariane


INTELSAT V maritime com- munications subsystems (MCS) leased from the International

Telecommunications Satellite Or- ganization (INTELSAT) and launched by Atlas Centaur and

Ariane rockets.

Spare satellites will be provided over all three ocean regions to ensure continuity of service in the event of failure on any one satellite.

Over 700 ships throughout the world are now fitted with earth stations enabling them to send and receive calls by satellite. By the time INMARSAT takes over from the MARISAT system on

February 1, 1982, the number of ship earth stations in use is ex- pected to be nearly 1,000. Tech- nical arrangements agreed by the

INMARSAT Council and Comsat

General will ensure that the tran- sition from MARISAT to INMAR-

SAT is accomplished without in- terruption to service to users and with minimum inconvenience to ship earth station manufacturers.

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.