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Iridium Certus based on Iridium NEXT for autonomous vessels

Satellite operator Iridium announced the signing of a Protocol of Intent with one of the pioneers of smart shipping (intelligent ship transport) Rolls-Royce Marine (RRM) in support of their development program for the so-called autonomous vessels.

As part of this arrangement, Iridium and RRM will work together to explore the possibility of including the next-generation Iridium Certus L-band satellite broadband service in the RRM suite of Ship Intelligence solutions. Thus, the RRM will have a stable and reliable broadband connection, which can serve as the possibility of independent communications or backup data with high bandwidth, expanding the coverage of territories for autonomous vessels on all waterways of the world.

Iridium smart shipping RRM technical solutions, as a leader in the field of autonomous ship traffic, provide multifaceted improvements for ships, such as remote diagnostics, management, performance monitoring. Among the many offers, these solutions provide real-time communications and automation through remote access by coastal operators and control centers. By automating processes such as navigation, the crew can focus on more important areas of ship operations, helping to optimize overall functionality, entering a new digital era of shipping. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is considering a strategic part of the future maritime industry, which already defines the regulatory environment, as well as the degree of autonomy for autonomous marine surface ships.

“Iridium complements our connectivity strategy for a number of reasons when evaluating partners for our Ship Intelligence Autonomous Ship and Ship Development Program,” said Kenneth Solberg, Ship Intelligence Technical Product Manager, RRM. “Their new Continuous Low Orbit Satellite Network (LEO) is capable of providing global low latency coverage for both coastal and ocean-going vessels with L-band reliability. Being a player in an industry with truly global reach, including the polar regions, Iridium allows ship owners to be sure that wherever they are they will stay connected. The compact form factor antennas and satellite terminals developed by Iridium Certus do not have moving parts, which reduces the risk of breakdowns and allows operation in harsh marine conditions. The ways in which Iridium Certus can be compatible with RRM’s requirements for remoteness and autonomy create the ground for creating an exciting offer that we are all waiting for and want to explore. ”

Iridium certification

Iridium operates the world’s largest and only commercial satellite constellation. The network consists of sixty-six interconnected low-orbit satellites that cover the entire planet with reliable satellite communications. The Iridium network provides a range of marine communications capabilities, including voice and data, and is ready to expand them with Iridium Certus. With Iridium NEXT, a $ 3 billion satellite constellation, Iridium Certus is creating a high-quality voice service along with enterprise-level broadband access functionality on the planet, whether on land, in air or at sea. The service, scheduled for access in 2018, shortly after launch, will be able to provide the highest speeds for transmitting information over satellite channels in the L / N band using compact and economical satellite terminals. The initial speeds offered by the service will be at the level of 352 kbit / s, and then will be brought to 704 kbit / s after updating the firmware.

“The digitalization of shipping is at the core of our strategy for the maritime business, and we are proud to explore the opportunities with Rolls-Royce Marine,” said Wouter Delnopper, Vice President and Gene. Iridium Marine Division Manager. – The Iridium satellite constellation is an ideal network to support autonomous vessels due to its inherent fault tolerance, mobility and truly global coverage. Supporting the revolutionary RRM initiative in the field of autonomous ships is a natural and exciting next step that we are fully prepared to take. ”

Iridium NEXTIridium NEXT is the next generation satellite constellation that SpaceX is currently launching. To date, seven hasty launches of Iridium NEXT have been made with the deployment of sixty-five new satellites. A total of seventy-five satellites will be launched into low Earth orbits, of which sixty-six will be in active operation, and the nine remaining will remain in reserve.

Iridium Certus is a new advanced multiservice platform with support for the latest generation of Iridium groupings.

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