June 1983 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

AMSHIP & Navidyne Demonstrate First Successful Transfer Of Data On Great Lakes Via Satellite

A recent series of tests conducted aboard a U.S. Great Lakes bulk carrier may help to hasten the widespread acceptance of satellite communications on the Great Lakes.

The event was the first successful demonstration of computer data transfer between ship and shore via satellite on the Great Lakes. The tests took place under the co-sponsorship of Navidyne Corporation of Newport News, Va., and American Steamship Company aboard the M/V Indiana Harbor at its berth in Milwaukee, Wise.

Navidyne's ESZ-8000 Satellite Communicator, installed aboard the Indiana Harbor last year, was linked with the ship's Data General "Nova 4" computer for the tests.

Data was transmitted from the ship to a computer terminal at American Steamship's home office in Buffalo, N.Y., using the INMARSAT "Marces-A" satellite above the Atlantic Ocean and the coast earth station at Southbury, Conn. The public telephone network was used for the shoreside connection between Southbury and Buffalo.

According to Navidyne and American Steamship officials, the tests were totally successful. Data was transmitted between the shipboard computer and shoreside terminal accurately at speeds of 1,200 bits per second. Various files stored in the computer's memory aboard ship were accessed by the shoreside operator with no difficulty.

American Steamship is participating in a program co-sponsored by the U.S. Maritime Administration, evaluating the feasibility of onboard computers to automate and streamline functions such as preventive maintenance scheduling, spare parts inventory, and crew payroll. According to American Steamship officials, a desirable expansion of the on-board computer system is the ability to transfer data back and forth with other computers ashore.

For more information on the Navidyne- AMSHIP tests and equipment, Write 66 on Reader Service Card

Other stories from June 1983 issue


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