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UK VMS contract awarded

A UK vessel monitoring system (VMS) contract has been awarded to a consortium of UK system integrator AST Marine Sciences Ltd and EMA Group, a Slovenia headquartered satellite tracking systems research and development company.

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) contract for the expansion of existing VMS services requires the supply and installation of 300 EMA BlueTraker terminals to UK fishing vessels of 12m to 15m length before the end of 2012.

The BlueTraker VMS terminal provides positional data outputs and bidirectional communication, with integrated antennas, GPS receiver, GPRS and satellite communication channels, as well as a back-up rechargeable battery.

All EU VMS reporting data is transmitted via the Iridium satellite short burst data service (SBD), with the GPRS channel primarily used for near-shore reporting and formatted to conform to national and inshore requirements.

The terminal also offers dynamic reporting, enabled through the Iridium SBD service. Up to 100 geographical areas (polygons and associated rules) in the form of geofences can be remotely uploaded, edited and activated/deactivated on each and every BlueTraker terminal.

Pre-defined National and EU control area co-ordinates (geofences) are uploaded from land-based servers over the Iridium network.

EU geofence crossing and VMS positions are also transmitted through Iridium, while National geofence entering or exiting and VMS positions are transmitted either through Iridium or GPRS communication channels - depending upon the rules set for each terminal.

A fail-safe Assistance Button is included, which enables crew members to send distress alerts directly from the terminal, as well as the ability to transmit UK Electronic Logbook Reports.

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