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Effective use of

big data

& remote monitoring Special to Marine Log

A bigger communication “pipe” is available for shifting data ashore— providing operators , both big and small, with richer data sets


he shipping industry is awash with excitement about the potential of Big Data, but views differ as to whether a fully-fledged Big Data strategy best serves the true requirements of vessel operators. Some have advocated a ‘small data’ approach – seeing greater benefit in improved extraction of the value hidden in existing data sets, pointing out that most of the data-centric optimization solutions offered to market so far are based on beefed-up versions of noon reports. One reason is that the communications link between ship and shore imposes 26 Marine Log // February 2017

constraints on data exploitation. This, consequently, restricts the extent to which shipping companies and OEMs alike can capitalize on the full benefits of remote equipment monitoring. Fortunately, these communications constraints are diminishing. Earlier this year, Inmarsat launched its Fleet Xpress high-speed broadband service. Fleet Xpress raises the stakes not only in terms of bandwidth – the quantity of data it can send over its satellites – but in terms of availability and resilience. Powered by Inmarsat’s latest generation I-5 satellites, it operates over the high-frequency Ka-band

to deliver data more quickly than is possible with Ku-band VSAT services. To ensure connection in extreme weather conditions or when a vessel is navigating in higher latitudes close to the poles, it incorporates an automated unlimited fall-back option to the satellite operator’s resilient L-band service. Now vessel operators and equipment suppliers have a bigger communication ‘pipe’ available for shifting data ashore, they will be able to take advantage of richer data sets, whether for monitoring engines and related equipment, planned maintenance and parts procurement, or optimizing navigation at

Shutterstock/ sdecoret

Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress is catalyst through which the benefits of data analytics and remote monitoring are changing an industry

Marine Log February 2017  
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