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INMARSAT PARTAKES IN INDIAN OCEAN RESEARCH PROJECT

Friday, March 6, 2020 

Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress has been chosen to provide the connectivity backbone enabling images captured by the deep ocean research institute Nekton from the floor of the Indian Ocean to be transmitted worldwide.

The Nekton Institute is an independent, not-for-profit research institute working in collaboration with the University of Oxford. It aims to accelerate the scientific exploration and protection of the oceans. The 2020 mission entitled ‘First Descent – Midnight Zone’ will include a 35-day long voyage starting in mid-March exploring biodiversity around the Maldives, Seychelles and the High Seas. Video, audio and - for the first time - data will be transmitted from the deepest parts of the Indian Ocean to the research vessel Pressure Drop, then relayed via Fleet Xpress to marine science projects focusing on sustainable oceans.

“The ocean is a key part of each Maldivian,” said President Ibrahim Mohamid Solih of Maldives. “71% rely on the ocean for their primary source of income. We have committed to a 5-year initiative to advance ocean protection and sustainably develop the blue economy. This expedition will help us establish the long-term sustainability of our economic growth, livelihoods and jobs through establishing marine protected areas to build ocean resilience.”

“For all practical purposes, until now it has not been possible for research vessels in remote seas to transmit large quantities of data back to base in real time, let alone stream images suitable for high-definition TV broadcast,” said Peter Broadhurst, SVP Inmarsat. “Nekton’s decision  to work with Inmarsat has changed that.”

Part of the Pressure Drop project sees Inmarsat installing Fleet Data, the secure IoT platform, which extracts data from sensors and uploads it to a secure central cloud-based database for easy access with no additional airtime cost. Its use will enable the first transmissions of water chemistry and geophysics datasets.

“One of the biggest issues is that it can take months or even years to published data analysis, by which time data may have less relevance and application. By using Fleet Data we can publish data in an instant via an Inmarsat API: this is ground-breaking for marine science and could accelerate the analysis and publication of ocean data,” said Oliver Steed, CEO Nekton.

Inmarsat’s partner YachtProjects designed, installed and commissioned Pressure Drop’s management and communications systems, including ECDIS, CCTV and open port capability. Nekton’s research, sampling and survey technologies integrate with shipboard systems, with the YachtProjects’ Seawall package controlling the shipboard network and shaping bandwidth and streaming, with the terminal hardware provided by Intellian Technologies.

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