Plastiki Relies on FleetBroadband Satellite Communications


Plastiki Relies on FleetBroadband Satellite Communications to Deliver Environmental Message

Portable Satellite internet and satellite voice communications enabled by a solar-powered Thrane & Thrane Sailor 500 FleetBroadband terminal were key components of a unique ocean voyage intended to draw world attention to the crisis of waste dumped in our oceans.

The Inmarsat-sponsored Plastiki is a unique catamaran made from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles and self-reinforcing PET (recyclable plastic). During a 128-day voyage of over 8,000 nautical miles from San Francisco to Sydney, the crew conducted over 90 media interviews via FleetBroadband – resulting in more than 300 print articles, 200 radio and TV broadcasts, and more than 1,000 mentions on websites.

With video production equipment from Livewire Digital and airtime sponsored by Inmarsat distribution partner Stratos, the expedition was able to send store-and-forward video to its own website and the world’s media.

Internet and Voice Satellite Communications Enable Global Conversation

The Plastiki set out from San Francisco on March 20, 2010 with the aim of alerting the world to the impact of single-use plastics on the health of our oceans. Every day the crew reported seeing evidence of man’s waste – from plastic bags, bottles, and styrene foam containers to abandoned buoys and large plastic trays.

Expedition leader David de Rothschild said “One of the founding principles of the Plastiki expedition was to create a global conversation around the issues and the solutions needed in order to beat waste, especially the plastic pollution that plagues our oceans. Without FleetBroadband and Inmarsat’s unwavering commitment and vision to support our call to action, the Plastiki wouldn’t have been able to reach the global audience it has – and in turn create such an immense voice for change.”

The crew also used FleetBroadband satellite communications capabilities to keep in touch with colleagues and family onshore. Skipper Jo Royle said: “I have never experienced such clarity in ship-to-shore communications. Inmarsat technology has totally revolutionised my job. We can now enjoy life at sea and remain connected with developments on shore.”

Fleetbroadband is a maritime communications service providing broadband data and voice simultaneously. The Sailor 500 FleetBroadband offers data speeds of up to 432kbps.

The MSAT G2 Satellite Radio


Customers Appreciate MSAT-G2 Mobile Satellite Radio

Naples, FL. – The MSAT -G2 satellite radio by SkyTerra (now part of LightSquared) is a real-time, satellite voice-based service that provides point-to-multipoint and point-to-point communication at the push of a button. The MSAT-G2, designed for use on the MSAT network, is a cost-effective and reliable alternative to land-based two-way radio systems. It supports continent-wide Push-to-Talk (PTT) Satellite Dispatch Radio and Circuit Switched Voice and Data Satellite communications with GPS capability and flexible interconnectivity. There is a wide variety of 3rd party interoperability interfaces as well, extending the reach of traditional Land Mobile Radio technology that doesn’t exist with any other North American Satellite Constellation.

Customers include first responders and other professionals in homeland security, public safety, emergency response, search and rescue, police, utilities, transportation, and more. International Satellite Services’ customers are among those requesting the MSAT-G2 satellite radio. The following features and benefits appeal to these customers.

System Benefits

  • Seamless coverage: Satellites act as one big radio tower for all of North America. Users don’t have to worry about service interruptions associated with roaming because it is all one network.
  • Network flexibility: MSAT terminals can be interfaced with existing terrestrial fleet communications infrastructures.
  • Interoperability: Talkgroups can be configured to allow for interagency communications between local, regional, and national emergency response organizations.
  • Faster start-up time reduced up-front costs: Subscribers avoid having to develop, launch, and support their own private networks.
  • Coverage flexibility: The coverage footprint also allows subscribers to expand or reduce dispatch radio coverage as their needs change.
  • Network reliability: Satellite networks perform during emergencies when land-based communications are not available.
  • Secure communications: The network employs the IMBE (Improved Multi-Band Excitation) voice codec approved by the Association of Public Safety Communications. Digital coding and scrambling prevents casual eavesdropping or monitoring of calls.

BGAN Satellite for Remote Site Management Applications

BGAM satellite

Hughes 9201 Machine to Machine (M2M) Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) Satellite Terminal Ideal for Oil, Mining, Gas, Water, and Utility Industries

Remote Site Management

Naples, FL. – The Hughes 9201 mobile BGAN satellite terminal is a rugged, easy to use portable satelite internet communications terminal ideal for the oil, gas, mining, water, and utility industries. This BGAN terminal is designed to withstand varying weather conditions for extended periods of time yet is small, light, and easily installed, making it an ideal solution for remote sites.

IP SCADA ready

The Hughes 9201 M2M is an excellent choice of satellite terminal for remote SCADA applications. It is easily packaged for continuous monitoring and control of remote sites such as well automation, pipeline monitoring, utility Smart Grid such as Smart Meter backhaul, distribution automation, and substation SCADA.

Oil, Gas, Water and Mining Applications

The Hughes 9201 M2M is ideal for operational well data collection such as electronic flow measurement, pressure, and custody transfer data reading.

It is also installed at natural gas sites to enable remote monitoring and control of the compressor responsible for pushing high volumes of natural gas through the pipeline transmission system.

The Hughes 9201 BGAN Satellite terminal is not only used for purposes of data collection, but also for delivering critical and time-sensitive command and control instructions to downhole systems. This increases well performance and production, saving the operator time and money and increasing the producer’s revenues due to the information provided for real-time decision making. Engineers from anywhere in the world can access the site remotely to make informed decisions on well site management.

Utility Applications

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Smart Meter Backhaul: Thousands of residential and business wireless smart meters send usage data back to a collector point. The collector point sends the aggregate data over the Hughes 9201-M2M to the utility’s data center. It can be deployed at utility poles to enable control of Smart Grid infrastructure such as reclosers, fault indicators, capacitor banks, etc.

Substation Communications: To dramatically enhance communication link availability at a substation, a Hughes 9201-M2M can operate as the backup path for automatic failover when the primary line fails.

Disaster Preparedness/Business Continuity Solutions: The Hughes 9201-M2M can be used for critical communications during the recovery period immediately following a catastrophic event that interrupts utility services.

It can also be connected to AMI collection points to deliver Smart Meter data from meters on residences and businesses. AMI enables readings for billing, service connections and disconnections; and consumer remote control over the Internet of lights, thermostats, and appliances, proactively reducing electricity usage costs. Utilities can manage peak loads where generation costs are high, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping measure and mitigate the risk of blackouts.

Mining Applications

Large and expensive assets like earth shovels in remote mining pits around the world require 24 hour monitoring to avoid potential electronic issues that can lead to any one of the thousands of components on the shovels to fail in remote locations. These issues can result in the shovels breaking down which leads to loss of productivity and thousands of dollars in lost revenue. This important real time data allows for potential problems to be detected early on eliminating loss of productivity.

About International Satellite Services, Inc.

ISSI offers satellite communications solutions over all five of the major commercial satellite constellations and is expanding and upgrading those offerings constantly. Its customer base covers the full spectrum from some the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies to our military to the vessels that service the oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico to small “mom and pop” operated fishing boats in the South Pacific.

Brazilian Oilfield Supply fleet uses Fleetbroadband 250


Brazilian oilfield supply fleet taps into faster satellite communications with Fleetbroadband 250

Fleetbroadband 250 satellite terminals are providing essential high speed connectivity for a fleet of supply ships serving recently-discovered oilfields off the coast of Brazil. Oil supply ship operator Astromaritima is equipping its fleet with Fleetbroadband internet satellite services.

Reliable Satellite Communications Needed

Potentially massive oil reserves in a geological region known as the ‘pre-salt’ layer were discovered 170 miles off shore in the Atlantic in 2007. Brazilian energy company Petrobras, Astromaritima’s largest customer, plans to produce 5.7 million barrels of oil and gas a day by 2020.

Claudio Salem, IT manager for Astromaritima, said the oil companies working in the pre-salt region needed reliable and efficient satellite communications equipment to send data from vessels to base, to send email, and to make calls.

Already three of Astromaritima’s vessels have been supplied with the terminals and the long-term plan will be to install Fleetbroadband 250 (FB250) on all 18 vessels by the end of the year, to support estimated data traffic volumes of 20 megabytes per month.

Fleetbroadband for Maritime Communications

Fleetbroadband is a maritime satellite communications service providing portable satellite internet and voice simultaneously. The Fleetbroadband 250 offers data speeds of up to 284 kbps and streaming IP up to 128 kbps. With simultaneous access to satellite data, internet and voice services the supply ships will have reliable access to sea chart and online weather data, route planning and crew calling all at the same time, contributing to operational efficiency.

“We can really put into practice every control wanted on our vessels,” Astromaritima’s Salem said.

Brief History of Satellite Communication


by Jon Aldrich

Mobile Satellite communication technology has evolved over the years not unlike the evolutionary progression of other technological innovation. Take computers for example. Early computers cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and required a battery of MIT graduates to operate them. They filled complete rooms, even requiring their own air conditioning systems. Only the largest of corporations employed them. Of course now, computers are small enough to fit in your pocket, can be operated by small children and are affordable by nearly everyone.

Similarly, shopping for a satellite communication terminal just 30 years ago would have required tens of thousands of dollars to purchase, the same MIT degree to operate and a couple of strong backs just to transport it. The Inmarsat constellation was your ONLY option. Just 15 years later (in 1995) Mitsubishi rolled out the first “portable” satellite terminal operating on the newly launched MSAT satellite constellation. The briefcase sized Mitsubishi ST151, eye popping at the time, weighed in at 30 pounds and cost approximately $3,500.00. While representing a significant breakthrough in satellite communications, the ST151 would dominate the portable satellite terminal market for LESS than one year.

1996 ushered in a truly revolutionary phase in personal satellite communications with the launching by Inmarsat of the mini-M terminal. Priced about the same as the ST151, the mini-M weighed in at less than 6 pounds. The laptop sized terminal would offer virtually “plug and play” data (albeit slow speed) and voice quality heretofore unmatched by any previous satellite terminal. Unlike the 151, which had a North America footprint only, the mini-M could be used virtually anywhere in the world. It would dominate the personal satellite communications market for several years as it brought satellite communications within the financial and technological reach of just about anyone.

In 1998 Iridium launched its worldwide “canopy” of 64 satellites and rolled out the first truly handheld satellite terminal. Slightly smaller than the early “bag” cellular phone, the Iridium handheld satellite phone would again revolutionize personal portable satellite communications. Just a few years later that bag sized phone would shrink to not much larger than today’s cell phones and at a cost of less than $1,000.00. Now just about anyone who had reason to travel beyond landline or cellular service has an affordable communications option.

As with the development of many industries, there have been breakthroughs and advances to satellite technology followed by failures and set backs. Not every constellation has been successful from the outset. Market projections by some companies have been overly optimistic which has lead to bankruptcies by those providers. Competition remains fierce as too many providers vie for too few customers. The industry continues to sort itself out as the strong constellations get stronger and as consolidation between providers continues to evolve. The ultimate beneficiary of all of this will be, as it always is, the consumer.

In business since 1996, International Satellite Services (ISS) is proud to represent all of the major commercial satellite constellations including MSAT, IRIDIUM, INMARSAT, THURAYA and VSAT. Regardless of whether you may need an inexpensive and simple hand held satellite phone for emergencies, two-way “flat rate” unlimited Voice via satellite Dispatch Radio or a highly sophisticated high speed data satellite solution (Fleetbroadband) for a fleet of vessels, ISS can help you.

Our customers cover the full spectrum from some the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies to our military to a small “mom and pop” operated fishing boat in the South Pacific, with almost everything imaginable in between. We are particularly proud of our growing list of satisfied customers in the oil and gas exploration, drilling sector and mining industry. We have a strong commitment to those “vertical markets” as we believe they offer huge opportunities for growth. Ask us for a list of our satisfied customers. ISS has built its reputation on treating each and every customer as if they were our ONLY customer.

BGAN Monitors Oilfields Remotely


Oilfields monitored remotely with Inmarsat BGAN satellite service

The world’s first large-scale SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) network based on Inmarsat’s mobile BGAN satellite service provides previously unmatched remote site management options for the oil and gas industry.

This groundbreaking BGAN SCADA network has been deployed for a major oilfield services company to monitor and control several hundred remote unmanned sites.

Inmarsat distribution partner Stratos Global and its channel partner Zedi Inc., a specialist in end-to-end management of oil and gas operations, are installing the IP-based network at the customer’s sites. The network will enable the customer to monitor and control its worldwide sites from its global operations center.

With the expanded remote site management capability made available by the network, the customer will be able to monitor critical technologies used in the oil and gas industry, such as electrical submersible pumps and downhole pressure and temperature gauges. The deployment will be expanded to include progressive cavity pumps and other upstream facilities. This network will replace the end-user’s older-generation Inmarsat GAN mobile packet data service.

Satellite BGAN ideal for remote site management

BGAN uses highly portable, lightweight terminals to provide simultaneous, high-speed IP data (up to 492 kbps) and voice connectivity anywhere in the world. BGAN satellite service is ideally suited to enable communications in areas where terrestrial or cellular networks are damaged, congested, or non-existent.

The BGAN satellite SCADA service uses the reliable Inmarsat I4 satellites operating in the L-band frequency, which are proven to withstand rain fade and other environmental factors.

Ruggedized BGAN

The network uses Addvalue’s Sabre Ranger, a ruggedized, compact BGAN terminal developed by Addvalue in partnership with Stratos and the end-user. The SABRE Ranger terminal is specifically designed for permanent fixed-site deployment and 24/7 network connectivity . It’s designed to withstand all environmental challenges associated with remote SCADA applications and to reliably transmit mission-critical data to the user’s corporate headquarters from hard-to-reach locations.

Secure portal

In this deployment, the BGAN satellite terminals are connected to the Zedi Intelligent Network, which delivers highly reliable and accurate data to the desktop via Zedi Access, a secure web portal. By using Zedi Access, the customer is able to make better-informed decisions and manage more wells.

Groundbreaking deployment

“This groundbreaking global deployment is the result of a strategic partnership between Stratos, Zedi, Addvalue and the end-user that included nearly two years of rigorous testing,” said Stratos President and CEO Jim Parm. “Before this deployment, BGAN-based SCADA networks of this scale did not exist.”

Live Video Streaming of Chilean Miners rescue via BGAN


Live news of miners’ rescue relies on BGAN connectivity

The whole world has been focused on the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for more than two months. Many of us who watched these events unfold via the internet and our televisions were able to do so from the pit-head via BGAN….broadband global area network – mobile satellite communications.

The BGAN Satellite System provided news teams the ability to send both live and store-and-forward video reports of the rescue operation from the mine in Chile’s remote Atacama desert – a remote location that made BGAN the perfect portable satellite internet solution.

Inmarsat was able to re-allocate spot beam capacity because of the high demand of usage amongst the various news crews on the scene.

Network Reliability

According to John Stoltz, director of media sales at GMPCS, they were confident about deployment in Chile because of how successful BGAN was in Haiti earlier in the year.

“Using our BGAN terminals and the BGAN X-Stream service, our news network clients were able to broadcast from a very remote area where satellite trucks and the internet are not readily available,” he said.

Main equipment

“It was fantastic to witness the Chilean miners’ rescue live via Inmarsat.”

Some of the networks used as many as three terminals – often with BGAN as their main equipment, John reported.

The BGAN X Stream service which was used by most of the news channels not transmitting 24 hours a day experienced 384kbps up to 450kbps data speeds while streaming the events live.

FTP site

“Typically journalists sent recorded video footage to an FTP site before doing a live report to the camera,” explained John.

“Power wasn’t much of an issue as generators and in some cases AC mains were available. If not, the BGAN’s internal battery could give at least an hour of power, which was enough to send a clip or do a live shot.”

HumaniNet, a non-profit humanitarian service provider supported RedeTV, the first 3D network in Brazil using the Inmarsat satellites.

HumaniNet’s executive director Greg Swanson said: “News and media organizations need the same level of equipment used by relief workers in emergencies to provide essential information to the outside world.

“This helps raise awareness of the disaster worldwide, leading to a better understanding of what’s needed to help victims, increased donations, and a keener interest in preparedness for future events.

“Enabling networks to broadcast quickly and completely, with on-premise audio and video services, is a win for everyone – and most of all in this case, the trapped miners.”

Spanish Fishing fleets choose Fleetbroadband


Satellite IP solution selected for e-logging on Spanish fishing fleets

More than 700 Spanish boats select Fleetbroadband 150 and 250 Marine Satellite Systems to electronically report fishing vessel catches as now required by the European Union.

This Inmarsat satellite broadband solution will provide transmission of data securely and cost effectively to Spain’s fishing vessels.

Following Ireland’s footsteps, Spain is one of the first EU members to adopt this type of Satellite IP solution necessary for compliance with logbook rules.

This mandatory logbook regulation was enacted in January 2010 for boats over 78ft an now include all fishing vessels over 49ft by July 2011.

This electronic reporting protocol provides details of what and how much fish each boat brings up as well as trans-shipments, landings and sales. The goal here is to mitigate illegal and unreported fishing as well as improve and maintain the world’s fish stocks.

The Spanish government provides grants up to $5,800 to these fishing companies to subsidize the cost of this program.

“The FleetBroadband service is the perfect system to meet the EU’s new fishing quota requirements according to Carlos Suarez del Villar, sitcom director at Nautical.

“However, in the long term we also aim to show fishing companies that having broadband communications on board can significantly improve their business.

“The high-speed, always-on connectivity enables them to check weather reports and charts – and even create an online marketplace where they can sell their catch before they arrive back at shore.”

Vehicular BGAN transmits robotic car’s journey across the Globe


The Project “VisLab Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge” led two robotic vehicles (solar powered) on an 8,000 mile journey through Eastern Europe, Russia and China without the use of human drivers. Both vehicles were equipped with BGAN Thrane Explorer 727 mobile satellite communication terminals that transmitted the trek via live satellite video. Also on board were solar powered laser scanners and seven video cameras for the purposes of detecting and avoiding obstacles. This project was funded partly by the European Research Council.

The project manager Professor Alberto Broggi of VisLab says the goal was to show that modern technology is evolved enough for deployment of non-polluting, non-oil based “robotic driven” vehicles. Live Video streaming as well as store-and-forward video, blogs and photos were sent to the VisLab website via BGAN satellite connectivity. Professor Broggi also shared “We also used BGAN for uploading the GPS position and vehicle data on to our website, to transfer short segments of code, and to make short phone calls”

The purpose of the first robotic car was to experiment with camera sensing, decision making and feasibility to manage the onboard electronic systems. The second car, without any human intervention, followed the first car’s route successfully to Shanghai where both vehicles would be showcased at the World Expo 2010

German Shipping Fleet to use Fleetbroadband Satellite Terminal


The German shipping company Vega-Reederei is outfitting their vessels with marine satellite services technology via Fleetbroadband.

So far 8 vessels have been installed by Inmarsat Distribution partner Stratos with another 8 expected in the near future.

Vega’s services include shipping operations, shipbuilding, chartering, ship disposal and financial services. They have a total fleet of 22 container vessels, nine bulkers and two tankers.

The marine satellite services fleetbroadband terminal is being utilized for internet access, email and voice communication to assure top vessel performance, business operations and productivity of the crew.

In order for headquarters personnel to manage the ship’s electronics and computers, the vessel has access to a high speed data connection for remote management and maintenance. The onboard fleetbroadband terminal is also set up with a firewall and engineers can achieve high speed, direct remote accessibility through support applications.

Down the road, the German vessel will have the option to use the satellite connection to help to reduce fuel costs and comply with emissions regulations with engine performance analysis and emissions monitoring.

Achim Tober, head of Vega’s IT department, said: “We have already enjoyed the benefits of FleetBroadband from Stratos on several of our vessels for many months and we have noticed it provides very good voice quality.

“FleetBroadband enables us to achieve fast, reliable data communications that maximize the integration and performance of many popular, IP-based applications.”

Because of this technology, onboard internet café features, such as prepaid chatting, prepaid web browsing and access to global and local news services are available in remote offshore waters.