Friday, May 6, 2011

Research Fleets choose mini-VSAT broadband for onboard Internet and data connections

MIDDLETOWN, USA: Crews aboard maritime research support vessels have a difficult job – providing security and mission management services to their fleets in waters around the globe. To make that job a little easier, and help crew members stay in touch with family and friends, companies like Storm Offshore AS are deploying the TracPhone V7 satellite communications solution from KVH Industries Inc..

Storm Offshore crew members use the reliable, affordable mini-VSAT BroadbandSM service to communicate with the home office, file required paperwork in international ports, and stay in touch with loved ones back home.

"The vessels send daily reports to the client (the charterer) as an electronic log, including details about the vessel's activities, information about the itinerary, and speed, as well as mandatory, monthly Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment (QHSE) reports to the Storm Offshore office, supporting our dedication to outstanding QHSE monitoring and consistent results," says Karstein Rasmussen, general manager of Storm Offshore.

"There are operational benefits to the airtime structure, as well. We can now send large files without trying to calculate how many megabytes they will use. For example, we can now send a manual that is 10 MB, which would not have been feasible with the old system because it would have cost a fortune."

Storm Offshore is not alone in seeing the value of affordable, reliable satellite communications for maritime research fleets. Stephen Kemp, resource manager for Tesla Offshore, LLC, sees a whole range of benefits for Tesla vessels using mini-VSAT Broadband. "We have found our TracPhone V7 system to be very useful and effective as a communications tool on our research vessel M/V Nikola. We use it to send out data packs (job instructions) to the field and to send sample data to the office for quality control. Naturally, we use it for all of our routine voice and e-mail communication needs, as well," he explains.

"KVH's global mini-VSAT Broadband network is ideal for research vessels and fleets that travel the world investigating ocean conditions and sea life," remarks Brent C. Bruun, KVH's senior vice president for global sales and business development. "We recognize that every vessel has a unique set of communications needs, and we are committed to the continued development of our mini-VSAT Broadband-compatible antenna family, along with value-added options like the CommBox™ Ship/Shore Network Manager. Our solution makes it possible for commercial operators to build a system that meets their needs and their budgets."

Some of the most critical vessel needs come from companies like Stabbert Maritime in Seattle, WA. "SATCOM is vital, especially when our vessels are working in exploratory research areas like the Beaufort Sea, and our KVH solution makes the entire business side of being a seaman much easier," says Neal Forde, vice president of commercial operations for Stabbert Maritime.

"Every port is a little different, so reliable SATCOM is key for managing port entry and customs paperwork, provisioning, and logistics. The scientists working aboard Stabbert vessels rely on the real-time connection to their offices on shore to report vital hydrographic and CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth) data and analyze anomalies. We provide unlimited access to the system for crew morale purposes as well – this is a valuable benefit that was cost-prohibitive with our old system."

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