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Marlink delivers 12 Mbps satellite link for seismic vessel

Marlink has announced that it has delivered Ku-band VSAT services with a dedicated return link of 12 Mbps to a seismic survey vessel.

The Atlantic Explorer, owned by Petroleum Geo Services (PGS), used the service during a four-week North Sea project to transfer survey data to shore.

Marlink says that the throughput connectivity, equivalent to 120 GB per day, was an upgrade to the ship’s existing Sealink customised VSAT service, which it had previously supplied.

The connection was ordered by PGS in mid May 2013 and was live by the end of June using the existing 1.5 m Ku-band antenna on board Atlantic Explorer. Marlink says that one of its engineers installed a new 40W BUC (Block Upconverter) prior to the commencement of services to enable the higher throughput, which was activated whilst the vessel was out at sea.

Atlantic Explorer used the link to transfer survey data to shore, where it could be analysed. Based on the results, survey schedules could be amended. Marlink notes that there was no need to wait for the ship to return to port, nor to arrange to have the data collected by a helicopter, as is usually the case.

Tommy-Konkol Dybvad, director of customised VSAT at Astrium Services, said: “Taking into account overheads, packet loss for instance, the link enabled throughput of approximately 5 GB per hour. To put it into context, this is about 50 times more throughput than an average offshore vessel needs for heavy operational and crew use.”

“A link of this scale was necessary in order to facilitate the transfer of survey data. The project was a success, with the link providing massive amounts of bandwidth that enabled PGS and its client to conduct a highly operationally and cost efficient offshore survey.”

Tore Morten Olsen, head of maritime, Astrium Services, also noted that the project “represents the very cutting-edge of what is known as customised VSAT; the kind of services used by the offshore industry because every platform and vessel has different requirements.”

“This kind of high-level connectivity is not an off-the-shelf product.”

“Our delivery supported PGS in providing a very high-end service to its client and in the very competitive seismic survey market, being able to offer advanced capabilities such as the electronic delivery of survey data from vessel to shore makes all the difference.” 

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