Icebreaker Uses Satellite to Break Through Communications Barriers
In Finland and Sweden, a large percentage of commercial trade is transported by sea. During the winter months, this presents something of a challenge, as most of the trade routes are almost completely frozen over.
Through a joint cooperation, the Swedish and Finnish Maritime Administrations enlist a fleet of icebreakers — nine vessels that travel the frozen waters to clear the ice and allow commercial ships to pass through.
Thanks to these icebreakers, ports in both countries can remain open yearround.
Communications is key to ensure that the icebreakers do their job. as they must be able to communicate to access up-to-the-minute information on weather forecasts and ice conditions, transmit estimated times of arrival and departure, send calls for assistance, and plan their daily operations. Previously, the icebreakers and ground facilities were equipped with the NMT mobile radio communications system, which operated over national public networks. But in 2002, this service was terminated.
Seeking an alternative, the countries turned to Eutelsat. "We needed a permanent system that could function in mesh mode 24 hours a day, and enable direct, simultaneous communication between some or all of the boats as well as the various sites on the ground. Internet access was also critical - and it had to be available on the boats out at sea," said Magnus Engstrom of Satpool. the company responsible for integrating the network. "With such a complex set of specifications, satellite offered the best option." Eutelsat provided the icebreakers with a mesh network built on its [email protected] solution for corporate and commercial maritime users.
Because no land lines are required, the network can be easily shared between Sweden and Finland, offering direct communications via satellite for both vessel-to-vessel and vessel-to-ground interactions. During the "ice-over period," which runs from October to May, the icebreakers share a permanent, guaranteed capacity of 1 Mbps with their facilities on the ground. In addition to complete voice and data coverage, the network is extended via gateway from the headquarter offices to deliver Internet and email access for crew members on board the vessels. Network supervision, control and monitoring are operated by Eutelsat.
Through its satellite network, the icebreakers' at-sea communications capabilities are faster, stronger, and more with improved access to critical information as well as personal and business communications. The Eutelsat solution offers the capability to dynamically assign bandwidth between termi- nals, enabling on-demand access while fully maximizing available resources. If any of the nine vessels are not at sea on a given day, the remaining bandwidth is shared by those on the water, and alloreliable cated according to demand. This streamlines costs and ensures high availability at all times.
Circle 16 on Reader Service Card
Other stories from March 2004 issue
- Bollinger Delivers Tidewater Supply Boat Jonathan Rozier page: 8
- World's Largest Dry Transport Vessel Delivered page: 10
- Port security: A Historical Perspective page: 12
- Delayed Enforcement of Change to "Shipper" Element page: 16
- MTSA: Another Key Layer of Port Security page: 17
- When Security is Made Simple page: 20
- Business Milestone for Vietnam page: 24
- "Made in Germany1 — a New High page: 24
- Miracle on Ice page: 26
- New President & CEO at Kvaerner Masa-Yards page: 28
- He's No Regular Joe page: 30
- Cruise Passenger Travel Grows 8 Percent; New York and Galveston Post Big Gains page: 32
- HAL's Vista Sails with ROCHEM Technology page: 33
- Royal Caribbean Takes Mariner of the Seas page: 34
- NorseMerchant Ferries Plans Service Upgrade page: 37
- Grimaldi Continues Fast Track Expansion page: 38
- Costa Places $450m Order With Fincantieri page: 40
- Losing ontact... Not an Option page: 44
- Ship Security Alert Systems (SSAS) page: 50
- GALILEO Lifts Off page: 52
- Icebreaker Uses Satellite to Break Through Communications Barriers page: 55
- Cellular Fixed Wireless Helps Deliver Mercy page: 57
- Homing in on Ships' Electrics page: 58
- Shipconstructor Chosen as Standard page: 61
- Contract for New Product Tanker Design page: 62
- BollFilter: 50 Years of Success and Counting page: 65
- The Corrosion Control Challenge page: 66
- Nippon Paint Restructures page: 69
- Metal Fusion Helps Stop Corrosion page: 69
- Maritime Security Professional Training page: 72
- Training the Trainer to Keep Knowledge Afloat page: 74