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NAVTOR and ScanReach partner on ship to shore connectivity

ScanReach's plug & play solution will connect with NAVTOR’s NavBox to provide safer and more efficient shipping ScanReach's plug & play solution will connect with NAVTOR’s NavBox to provide safer and more efficient shipping

NAVTOR and ScanReach have signed a landmark agreement to connect an onboard wireless IoT platform to a secure channel for sharing data between ship and shore.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} The collaboration will result in a seamless stream of information running from onboard sensors (which can be fixed to almost any piece of equipment, system, or individual) to land-based facilities, and back, enabling optimal decision-making, 24/7. The collaboration paves the way for shipowners to have a connected, comprehensive and real-time view of vessel and fleet operations.

NAVTOR chief commercial officer Børge Hetland said: “Both ScanReach and NAVTOR share the vision of utilising technology to enable smarter shipping, and by that I mean safer, more efficient, more environmentally friendly and, at the end of the day, more cost effective maritime operations for shipowners and society itself.”

“With our advanced ENC-based services as the foundation we have built an infrastructure that allows the seamless sharing of data between vessels and shore, giving bridge officers the very latest information (for example, up to date charts, weather data and regulatory alerts) while owners and operators access vital fleet management information. ScanReach have created a breakthrough onboard infrastructure whereby sensors share real-time information from equipment, systems and even personnel with the bridge, giving the crew genuine insight of current vessel operations.

“This agreement puts those two infrastructures together. So suddenly it’s not just the bridge officer that knows the latest performance data from ‘sensor x’ in the engine room, it’s the team in the office on shore. This gives close to real-time 360-degree awareness like never before. The potential is really only limited by the ambition and imagination of this industry. This is the definition of a game changer.”

The technology is currently undergoing full scale testing onboard North Sea Shipping’s North Sea Giant subsea construction vessel, with a view of launching to market later this year. ScanReach’s system will connect with NAVTOR’s communication and pre-processing hub, NavBox, with all information relayed to land securely through this DNV GL certified cyber secure gateway.

Jacob Grieg Eide, chief business development officer, ScanReach, believes the agreement will fire the starting gun for a new age of maritime service innovation.

“When you have two breakthrough technologies coming together in this way the possibilities are huge,” he stated. “Suddenly we have the ability to develop a wide range of services, and quickly, directly addressing client needs and effectively switching vessels from ‘analogue’ to smart, connected, digital empowered ships – without having to install expensive cabling.”

Mr Eide mentions numerous possibilities. In terms of performance, efficiency and cost control he talks of the ability of ship and land-based teams to see real-time vessel operational data, combining it with other data streams to fine-tune performance for optimal results. In this way immediate action can be enabled – for example saving fuel and reducing greenhouse gases (in line with IMO targets) – rather than waiting for the results of office-based analysis potentially months later.

In addition, automated and on demand reports of emissions and fuel consumption could be produced for complete regulatory compliance. Weather data could also be captured from weather stations on each ship (NAVTOR services a fleet of several thousand vessels) and streamed to land, providing real-time weather reports from exact vessel locations – calibrating existing weather models and helping other ships adjust routes and optimise performance and safety.

“We’ve already launched In:Range, allowing those on vessel bridges to see the exact location of all personnel onboard in emergency situations,” said Mr Eide. “With NAVTOR’s infrastructure that information can be combined with their data, for example on routing, weather and navigation, to enable a new generation of emergency response services, both onboard and onshore.

“Everything becomes connected – ship visibility is brought to shore. The implications of that for the industry are truly staggering.” {/mprestriction}

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    With the quantity of data shared between vessels and shore-side teams increasing at an accelerating rate, personnel onboard and ashore are having to spend ever more time uploading, downloading and managing file transfers manually. As well as being tedious, such repetitive tasks increase error risks, with the potential for serious financial consequences if the data lost or overwritten is needed to verify compliance.

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    GTReplicate is performance optimised for use in a marine environment. This means it operates across a variety of connectivity platforms, including 3G, 4G, L-band and VSAT, maximising throughput in each case. To further conserve bandwidth, GTReplicate monitors files intelligently, only sending on those that have changed since the last replication.

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    Mike McNally, global commercial director at GTMaritime, commented: “Shipowners are now embracing digitalisation as a low-overhead route to improved operational efficiency, but the growing information flow poses challenges for manual processes in ship-to-shore data transfer. GTMaritime created GTReplicate to provide a scalable, secure and highly configurable solution for automating file transfers and averting a data logjam.”

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  • Connectivity demand booms as leisure vessels become safer, reports IEC Telecom

    Demand for faster and cheaper connectivity at sea is set to increase as sailing is recognised as a safer place to work, travel and holiday during the COVID-19 pandemic says satcom specialist IEC Telecom, which is experiencing an increase in enquiries from vessel operators in the maritime leisure sector.

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    Meanwhile, in countries where travel is still restricted, many larger leisure boats and super yachts remain fully crewed and operational – also leading to increased need for connectivity as crews try to stay in touch with family and friends while conducting as many ship operations as possible via remote techniques. With crew restricted to remaining on the vessel in many places, higher speeds and larger bandwidth capacity is needed to provide leisure activities too.

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    Gwenael Loheac, chief executive officer Western & Southern Europe for IEC Telecom said: “Data traffic on leisure vessels has increased during this crisis period because crew, vessel operators and passengers need to exchange information on a more regular basis. In response to COVID-19, we are seeing increased demand for flexible tariffs to enable leisure vessel operators to adapt quickly to fluctuating connectivity requirements. Fortunately, we are well-placed to meet these needs, having a wide portfolio of solutions designed to provide best user experience, while keeping communications costs at bay.

    IEC Telecom recently launched OneGate Marine Compact, a new lightweight digital solution with a network management system which provides full visibility over on-board network assets (both satellite and GSM) and enables vessel owners to control expenses and optimise consumption via a digital dashboard.

    Mr Loheac commented: “OneGate Marine Compact was developed to cater to all major requirements of the leisure boat sector – addressing their needs for speed, bandwidth and cost optimisation. OneGate Marine Compact is an agile, lightweight, highly-adaptable and easy-to-install digital communications system which gives complete access to the benefits of digital connectivity even on smaller vessels. At this challenging time this system is providing many of the answers yacht owners need to enable them to conduct online business and leisure activities safely and securely.”

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