Broadband communication system trialled offshore Norway

Offshore staff

KONGSBERG, Norway – The Norwegian Coastal Administration, Norwegian Coast Guard, and the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies participated in trials this summer in the North Sea of Kongsberg Maritime’s Seatex maritime broadband radio (MBR) inter-vessel communication system.

MBR was used as the communication platform for data exchange and coordination of simultaneous operations. Units were mounted on multiple operational assets, including a plane that streamed real-time surveillance video directly to the vessels, giving them a new perspective and a completely different situational understanding, Kongsberg says.

By installing MBR communication units on every vessel/asset involved in an operation, the company adds, a broadband link is established and a maritime “information highway” created which enables high-speed, high capacity, low latency transfer of data, without the need for additional infrastructure and without the risk of data “disappearing” en-route.

In addition, there are no airtime charges; data transfer between vessels and assets is free once an MBR network has been set up.

Ketil Aasebø, senior advisor for the NCA’s Emergency Response division, said: “While conducting an oil- on-water verification test on the Frigg field, we received live images from our surveillance aircraft at a distance of some 100 nautical miles.

“The ability to transmit live images and video from a surveillance aircraft to seagoing units for oil spill response is incredibly important. MBR proved itself to be a stable communication medium for this purpose.”

The service, which can operate beyond a range of 50 km (31 mi) at sea, is said to offer enhanced communication between vessels, facilitated by seamless broadband data, voice and HD video transfer between all assets in the network.


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