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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Offshore vessels to combine communications with motion monitoring

Thu 01 Nov 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

Offshore vessels to combine communications with motion monitoring
Wind Energy Marine has installed FusionIP VSAT on its crew transfer vessel

An operator of offshore windfarm support vessels is installing VSAT and telematics for communications and monitoring.

Wind Energy Marine has selected NSSLGlobal to deploy FusionIP VSAT and Oceanic Dynamics monitoring suite on a fleet of new crew transfer vessels. These services will run for a 3-year period.

FusionIP will automatically switch crew and passenger broadband communications between VSAT and cellular connectivity when close to shore.

NSSLGlobal’s Oceanic Dynamics suite will centralise vessel performance monitoring and assess the impact of forces, providing vessel motion and impact analytics.

NSSLGlobal developed a technical solution for protecting the two antennas needed for the seamless transition between VSAT and coastal mobile phone networks. This includes a Ku-band antenna and one that links to 4G and 3G networks in one 60-cm radome, said NSSLGlobal global maritime sales director and chief executive of NSSLGlobal in continental Europe, Henrik Christensen.

He told Maritime Digitalisation & Communications that FusionIP is an integrated hybrid product that has everything required in one radome and with one cable connection to the below deck equipment.

“We developed this inhouse and were able to modify the antenna without affecting the radio frequency performance,” he said. “We spent a lot of time testing our integrated VSAT antenna.”

Bandwidth available over FusionIP VSAT is around 20 Mbps for communications, data transmissions and internet access for crew and passengers being transferred to the offshore windfarm. “Near the coast this switches to 4G and bandwidth can go up to 40-50 Mbps,” said Mr Christensen.

NSSLGlobal added the Oceanic Dynamics service to its VSAT after it acquired UK Electronic Solutions in June this year. “Ocean Dynamics monitors vessel motion and impact and then returns this data to shore over VSAT or 4G or 3G, depending on what is available,” said Mr Christensen.

“We are doing well in the offshore windfarm support vessel sector with Fusion IP and Oceanic Dynamics,” he added.

Wind Energy Marine operates vessels to transfer crew to the Nordsee windfarm, near Bremen, Germany.

It will use Ocean Dynamics to monitor engine data, route information and GPS positioning for fuel efficiency. It also improves passenger comfort, reduces the risk of seasickness and body vibration.

Wind Marine Energy managing director Andrew Bagshaw said “Oceanic Dynamics will be indispensable in terms of ensuring efficiency and consistent quality of our services, while the FusionIP terminal will allow us to stay fully connected to our shipping network at all times.”

Mr Christensen explained that another vessel operator with the integrated FusionIP antennas was Hermann Lohmann Bereederungen (HLB), which is replacing existing VSAT with FusionIP services that are based on Cobham Satcom’s Sailor 600 antennas.

In September, HLB managing director of Hermann Lohmann explained why it selected NSSLGlobal’s VSAT. “We opted for FusionIP due to its compact hardware and flexible airtime concept,” he said. “As it combines satellite broadband with a 3G/4G system within the same device, it allows us to stay fully connected to our shipping networks,” said Mr Lohmann.

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