SEA-KIT uncrewed surface vessel installs Inmarsat hybrid connectivity network

Inmarsat reports that it has installed a connectivity system employing virtualised networks for the SEA-KIT International uncrewed surface vessel (USV) Maxlimer, allowing the autonomous craft to switch as necessary between Fleet LTE, Fleet Xpress (FX) and FleetBroadband satellite services when out of range.

The system will be used to support ongoing SEA-KIT technology trials, which started in September off the coast of Plymouth, UK.

The project required installation of an Intellian FX antenna to join an existing FleetBroadband antenna to deliver full Fleet Xpress capabilities, alongside the Fleet LTE hardware on board the 12-metre-long autonomous vessel.

UK-based SEA-KIT runs a series of remote vessel control demonstrations for maritime defence, security and commercial stakeholders from its base in Tollesbury, Essex. Last year, the company took part in a transatlantic survey project co-funded by the European Space Agency to demonstrate the capabilities of current technologies in deep ocean surveying. In July 2021, the company secured the first Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certificate from Lloyd’s Register.

“The new trial will be a significant stepping stone for separated networks solutions that ensure reliability, cyber resilience and high data traffic, while selecting bandwidth for the most cost effective USV operations at all times,” said Scott Middleton, Sales Director EMEA, AsiaPac Offshore Energy, Inmarsat Maritime.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate a new phase in technological development to support the over-the-horizon operation, endurance and ocean-going ability of USVs.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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