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2016 • A supplement to Marine Electronics & Communications

“There is a need for higher bandwidth for crew welfare and applications on board, which will drive up data volumes” Morten Tengs, chief executive officer, Telenor Satellite, see page 12

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contents Introduction 3 It will be a high throughput future for maritime VSAT

Forward thinking 4 HTS technology will transform ship connectivity 7 Flat panel antennas will be combined with satellite solutions 11 IT platform developments are coming for fast broadband 12 Expect evolution of technology, not revolution

Operator feedback 15 VSAT is for enhanced crew welfare and remote IT support

Satellite networks 19 Intelsat plans US$2 billion satellite investment 20 Operators plan to grow constellations through investment

Ka-band platforms 22 Inmarsat begins Fleet Xpress services; Telenor launches Thor 7 solutions

Antennas 27 Developing antennas for high throughput satellite services 28 Manufacturers have developed terminals for the next-generation of VSAT 30 Intellian has introduced an antenna upgrade kit for Ka-band

IT platforms 33 Modems developed for high throughput satellites 34 Combining IT platform technologies

Cyber security

The complete guide to

Published June 2016 Editor: Martyn Wingrove t: +44 20 8370 1736 e: Sales Manager: Paul Dowling t: +44 20 8370 7014 e: Sales: Jo Lewis t: +44 20 8370 7793 e: Head of Sales – Asia: Kym Tan t: +65 9456 3165 e: Production Manager: Sasha Tan t: +44 20 8370 1718 e: Subscriptions: Sally Church t: +44 20 8370 7018 e: Chairman: John Labdon Managing Director: Steve Labdon Finance Director: Cathy Labdon Operations Director: Graham Harman Editorial Director: Steve Matthews Executive Editor: Paul Gunton Head of Production: Hamish Dickie Published by: Riviera Maritime Media Ltd Mitre House 66 Abbey Road Enfield EN1 2QN UK

36 Secure VSAT is needed for shipping 37 Cyber risk will be a key focus at Riviera summit

Value added services 39 Building a high throughput Ku-band fabric 40 Combining hardware with content solutions 43 Owners can no longer afford to have a ship offline 44 Bringing together multiband solutions; Network based on iDirect platform 45 Revamping satcoms services; Access portal priorities 46 Delivering a full range of solutions ISSN 2055-4702 (Print) ©2016 Riviera Maritime Media Ltd

Last word 48 Disruptive space technologies will cut VSAT costs

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The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication is correct, the Author and Publisher accept no liability to any party for any inaccuracies that may occur. Any third party material included with the publication is supplied in good faith and the Publisher accepts no liability in respect of content. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, reprinted or stored in any electronic medium or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the copyright owner.

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The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

he future of maritime VSAT will involve a combination of high throughput satellites (HTSs) overlaying wide beams of broadband. The huge amount of investment that has already gone into launching new high throughput constellations, and what is to come, demonstrates that satellite operators intend to be ready for the expected surge in broadband demand in shipping. The fifth annual edition of the Complete Guide to VSAT, a supplement to Marine Electronics & Communications, outlines the future of maritime satellite communications. Within this edition we have collated the foresight of industry leaders, who have highlighted the latest trends and forecast what will impact maritime VSAT in the next four years to 2020. There are a wide range of opinions, but some main trends of note. The clearest is the expectation that HTS systems will provide the power and connectivity that shipowners, managers, crew and passengers demand. Whether the high power broadband is delivered through traditional Ku-band and C-band, through Ku-band spot beams, or the new Ka-band services, it will probably not worry the end user, as long as they get the services they need. But with more launches, there will be more competition in the VSAT market for vessel operators to choose from. Inmarsat has finally commercially launched its much anticipated Fleet Xpress maritime VSAT service (see page 22). This uses the fifth generation of its geostationary satellites and the Global Xpress platform to deliver Ka-band spot beams to the majority of shipping areas, backed up by reliable L-band. The Londonbased satellite operator expects this platform and its service gateway will revolutionise the way shipping uses VSAT-enabled applications. Telenor Satellite has also launched its Thor 7 regional Ka-band service and SES is planning to

begin one, both over Europe. Rivalling these is the growing Ku-band coverage worldwide and the reliable and constantly available C-band. Coming this year is the commercial launch of Intelsat’s EpicNG Ku-band spot beam service and the orbit of other Ku-band HTSs. Some industry leaders expect these new services are opening new maritime markets for VSAT – fishing and offshore supply vessels, superyachts and workboats. This could be facilitated by the emergence of flat panel antennas and new conventional small-scale terminals. Experts expect flat panel antennas to be tested in marine conditions within the next 12 months. Testing of HTS systems on ships has highlighted the technical challenges with delivering stable and reliable services over maritime terminals. The industry has been through a tough period of testing, where performance issues were challenging, but providers of the new HTS services say they can guarantee adequate connectivity and reliability. Another worrying trend for shipping is the emergence of cyber threats to vessels that are linked to the internet through VSAT. Although there have been no reported incidents, there is a threat from malware and hackers (see page 36). Within this edition, we outline some of the solutions available to shipowners. Ship operators and managers also provide their reasons for deploying VSAT across their fleets. There are comments from a wide crosssection of the industry with views from operators of tankers, container ships. specialist cargo vessels and drillships (see page 15). These testimonies demonstrate how VSAT enables owners to connect their ships and crew. The connectivity is already improving for owners that have adopted the technology, and will vastly increase as more HTSs are brought online. VSAT

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HTS technology will transform maritime VSAT Leading players in the growing VSAT sector provide their insight into the long-term future of maritime satellite communications


roadband advances will transform not only seafarers’ lives at sea, but also the business of operating ships, and potentially even the overall movement of global goods. Most people are accustomed to ubiquitous broadband connectivity in the palm of their hand, and this is inevitably becoming the expectation at sea. Intellian Technologies director of product management Matthew Galston expects developments in satellite communications technology will lead to dramatic changes in shipping. “As well as connecting people between ship and shore, we will see an explosion in the number of connected devices at sea,” he commented “We already see the Internet of Things (IoT) evolving in real time, and delivering all kinds of valuable new services and capabilities. With the dramatic improvements to satellite connectivity now coming online, the IoT will soon become the internet of everything and everywhere, with transformational implications for ship operations. This, in turn, will present shipowners with tremendous new opportunities.” Managing permanently connected multi-million dollar ships and offshore assets will become much easier through VSAT. Conventional reporting of ship operations via forms will be replaced by more standard business IT infrastructure and services, resulting in efficiencies and cost savings, said Mr Galston. “Potentially more interesting is the opportunity the new level of fixed price connectivity presents for ship operators to develop new high margin information services that hold value to their customers,” he said. Investment in IT technology that delivers a happier crew and business efficiencies is attractive, but such an investment is still

seen by many as another cost. Mr Galston continued: “When ship operators begin to see the opportunity for new revenue-generating services then we start to see costs transforming into value.” This gradual change in perspective will fuel growth in VSAT and underpin the industry’s drive to continue to innovate. Thus, the next five years will see a steep rise in the number of ships and vessels connected to VSAT as there will be a major migration from L-band. Several factors will drive this shift, including seafarers and passengers demanding more internet access to improve their onboard experience. “VSAT services will deliver much better connections than the industry has been used to at price points that are much more attractive,” said Globecomm Systems director of product management Martin Killian. “This means a premium voice and internet experience, with high quality voice over IP, and the full bring-your-own-device experience with selected WiFi access points. Features like enhanced reporting of network status, and tools for network control will put more control in the hands of users.” He stressed that the latest trend in technology will allow users to choose which VSAT band to use, be it C, Ku or Ka-band, or a combination of them. “Investment in both the space and ground segments is making beam switching much more efficient, and in future more inter-operability between the bands is likely,” Mr Killian commented. “In the same way, the hardware required shipside on VSAT should be open technology, meaning components do not lock the customer into a service. The antennas and modems can be used with many different maritime service providers around the world, giving the customer a range of options.” VSAT

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MARTIN KILLIAN (Globecomm): Investment is making beam switching much more efficient

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

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Introducing Telenor’s THOR 7 Ka band mobility service For use on superyachts to passenger ships, Telenor’s Ka band mobility service provides high-powered capacity to facilitate the ever increasing demand for bandwidth and reliability at sea. Offering services with download speeds in tens of Mbps, even from small antennas, and delivering uplink speeds up to 6 Mbps, Telenor Satellite provides a wide choice of packages to suit all requirements. Keeping you connected at sea via satellite


FLAT PANEL ANTENNAS AND HTS SOLUTIONS operating in high latitudes, antennas will need to be on gimbals. We are testing more realistic remotes, and we expect to bring this to market in 2017. There are a lot of innovations, but we are focusing on innovation on the remote to catch up with HTS technology on satellites.”


T JOE SPYTEK (ITC Global): "Technology drives VSAT prices down to L-band replacement levels"

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

here are expected to be advances in conventional maritime VSAT hardware. However, the new technology of flat panel antennas may change the long-term future of VSAT, according to ITC Global chief executive Joe Spytek. He expects flat panel antennas, such as those being developed by Kymeta Corp, to become important elements of future VSAT installations. ITC Global was acquired last year by Panasonic Avionics, which has a strategic agreement with Kymeta. Mr Spytek thinks investment in high throughput satellite (HTS) solutions will intensify as bandwidth demand increases. Panasonic will offer HTS services through Ku-band satellite networks, with purpose-built remote terminals that use Kymeta’s mTenna antenna technology. Mr Spytek expects this technology to lower VSAT costs and will offer these services to a variety of vessels. “This will drive VSAT prices down to L-band replacement levels, and data traffic could be routed efficiently with low latency,” he said. “We will have remotes that are developed for maritime and fishing fleets, so there is scope in developing L-band replacements using the Kymeta antennas that are self-deploying.” He continued: “Larger vessels will need multiple antennas, and for vessels


Mr Spytek acknowledged there were challenges with deploying HTS coverage, whether in Ku or Ka-band on ships. “For HTS services, the ground segment is the Achilles heel, as very few modems can cope with HTS,” he said. “The industry underestimated the technology needed and this will reduce the number of players that can offer HTS.” He added: “Dramatic amounts of money have been spent to provide HTS capacity. Although costs for delivering megabytes (MB) are going down, the percentage cost for delivering MB for the ground segment component is going up significantly ‒ because it has not been developed enough for HTS.” Intelsat has invested in both a Ku-band HTS network, with three main EpicNG satellites (see page 19), and Kymeta’s mTenna technology. Intelsat’s senior principal product manager for maritime

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services, Chris Insall, thinks Kymeta antennas will enable VSAT to be deployed on a variety of different vessels. It should open maritime VSAT technology to different maritime markets. “We have invested in Kymeta to design and produce innovative, flat, electronically steerable, Ku-band mTenna satellite antennas that are optimised for our EpicNG technology,” he said. “The new antennas will be easier to install on ships, require lower power and have an improved form factor, bringing the benefits of broadband connectivity to a wider range of vessels.” Mr Insall also expects demand for Ku-band maritime VSAT connectivity to expand into polar regions, opening up fresh opportunities for satellite communications providers. It has invested in OneWeb, which will develop a low earth orbit (leo) satellite constellation for maritime and offshore users. This could seamlessly interact with Intelsat’s existing geostationary (geo) satellite constellation. “Our investment in OneWeb will create the world’s first interoperable leo/geo satellite network,” he said. “The partnership will enable Intelsat to offer the first pole-to-pole Ku-band global network – important for a sector that demands connectivity everywhere.” Flat panel antennas may be used effectively on cruise ships for operators to meet the multiple passenger bandwidth requirements. Harris CapRock chief technology officer Rolf Berge expects flat panel antennas, such as those being developed by Phasor, to change the

aesthetics and performance of VSAT terminals on cruise ships. “Very low profile, electronically-steered flat panel, phased array antennas will be ideal for high mobility and higher bandwidth applications, such as those found in the cruise market,” he said. Cruise ships have unique connectivity requirements. These combine multiple services such as passenger broadband access, retail, banking and hospitality. “This places big demands on their communications infrastructure,” said Mr Berge. “The ability to offer a high standard of connectivity to passengers on board is a differentiating factor. Add in the increased visual appeal of flat panel technology and it is easy to see the marketing possibilities.” But Mr Berge thinks services will need to integrate satellite, wireless and terrestrial infrastructure into one platform, with multiband antennas. “The antenna will need to include technologies such as automatic beam and band switching,” he explained. “But the key to the success of the service is the brains behind the system. Although a pre-programmed route facilitates switching of these antennas in virtually all cases, a rules engine that makes the optimum connection decisions, based on a variety of changing parameters, is what is really needed.” These would include geographical awareness of connectivity options, technology type, network parameters and performance characteristics, and optimising for connectivity cost.

VSAT is driving digitisation of shipping

CHRIS INSALL (Intelsat): “Our investment in OneWeb will create the world’s first interoperable leo/geo satellite network”

ROLF BERGE (Harris CapRock): "The key to the success of VSAT services is the brains behind the system"

CHRISTOS CHYSSAKIS (DNV GL): “There will be more cyber-physical systems”

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Digitisation of vessels and fleets through VSAT will be the main driver of innovation and business in shipping for the next 10 years, according to class society DNV GL. It predicts further deployment of sensors across fleets of ships, greater levels of remote internet connectivity and developments in data analytics in the future. These predictions were within DNV GL’s Technology Outlook 2025, which the class society published in May. VSAT will enable increasing numbers of ships to be connected to remote diagnostics services, said DNV GL principle researcher and group leader Christos Chryssakis. He expects all classed ships to be connected to broadband communications over satellite within five years. “Digitisation is one of the biggest drivers – we are on the verge of a new technology revolution,” he commented. “This can help us move towards more remote monitoring, diagnostics and operations. There will be more cyberphysical systems involving onboard systems that are remotely monitored.” Digitisation will also lead to more onboard automation and autonomous operations. It will enable shipowners to replace periodic maintenance of machinery with condition-based maintenance and inspections. Mr Chryssakis expects remote monitoring and real-time analytics of onboard systems will be standard within 10 years. VSAT

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

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HTS and IT platform developments T

he majority of maritime VSAT will be using high throughput satellite (HTS) technology as part of seamless global connectivity by 2020. Comtech EF Data vice president Steve Good expects HTS systems will be commonplace in shipping within the next five years. “Ground equipment manufacturers and service providers that have not implemented solutions capable of supporting the promises of these new designs will be left behind,” he warned. New HTS designs can deliver operating and upfront cost savings to those that select a ground platform that can leverage them. “Frequency reuse techniques will offer increased data speeds, improve frequency efficiency ratios, and drive down operating expenditure, as well as providing a lower per-Mbps price,” Mr Good explained. “A significant improvement in uplink performance will reduce the required frequency and remote gateway capital needed to provide the desired throughputs in both the shore-to-ship and, more importantly, ship-toshore directions.” New technologies and innovations in satellite design and ground stations will enable service providers to meet the demands in maritime. “Service providers that continue to innovate by revisiting their delivery methods and product offerings, powered by the right future-proof networking solution, will not only survive but flourish in 2020 and beyond,” said Mr Good. Developments in HTS technology will mean VSAT service providers need to deal with the increasing complexity of their networks. Newtec vice president of market development Kevin McCarthy said networks are becoming larger and more diverse, while bandwidth demand is exploding. “The next-generation VSAT platforms will be required to support a wide range of verticals and applications, with unprecedented scale,” he warned. “Powerful spot beams will demand more advanced transmission standards, while also creating new

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

challenges for mobility. Beam switching logic must become multi-dimensional, allowing network operators to continually manage factors like load balance, regulatory restrictions, cost and weather.” He continued: “Dynamic bandwidth allocation schemes will need to be more efficient and scalable in order to sustain the next wave of growth. Modem hardware must become more powerful to support higher data rates and extending upgrade cycles.” In the near future, VSAT platforms will need to integrate the satellite payloads with the ground networks to optimise service delivery. “While HTS will introduce many new challenges, it will also create new opportunities,” said Mr McCarthy. “Maritime VSAT will see significant benefits from these new technologies. Compact, flat panel antennas coupled with lower capacity costs will open up the VSAT market to thousands of smaller vessels.” There could be nearly global coverage of HTS capacity by 2020, according to KVH executive vice president for mobile broadband Brent Bruun. This should enable end users to achieve the data speeds and usage patterns they are familiar with on land. He expects reliance on VSAT technology will continue growing due to rising expectations for fast, reliable internet connectivity. “VSAT will continue to penetrate the maritime market, especially with the advent of HTS technology, which will provide a robust service and high data speeds,” he commented. “With all major satellite operators beginning to offer HTS capacity, maritime customers can be assured of having enough capacity for their needs, and that opens up new ways of optimising operational efficiency by taking advantage of big data metrics. There is a need to ensure that the data requirements of ship operations are prioritised, while also providing internet access for the crew. There will also be more opportunities for shipping to make use of cloud-based applications and data analytics to improve operational efficiency.” VSAT

TOP: Brent Bruun (KVH): “VSAT will continue to penetrate the maritime market” BOTTOM: Kevin McCarthy (Newtec): “Powerful spot beams will demand more advanced transmission standards”

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ALL NEW SATELLITES WILL HAVE HTS Telenor Satellite chief executive Morten Tengs expects all new satellite launches will include HTS spot beams in the future. “For mobile data services, all satellites will be HTSs as there is no way to compete without it,” he said. “There will be a mixture of regional and global networks that will co-exist ‒ there is a market for both.” Satellites will become more cost effective as the costs per MB will come down and the use of electric power lowers capital and operating costs. Mr Tengs expects the growth opportunities for hardware suppliers are in the fishing vessel and superyacht sectors, but the growth in bandwidth demand will come from cruise ships and ferries. “The passenger segment will be where the growth in data volumes will be, as on cruise ships there are hundreds of passengers wanting to use the internet. We strongly believe the passenger segment will drive demand. This will drive up volumes to levels

more like land services now.” He expects data demand will balance or even exceed broadband supply in the future. “We expect commercial ships to adopt VSAT as the price of terminals and fixed-price policies come down,” he continued. “There is a need for higher bandwidth for crew welfare and commercial applications on board, which will drive up data volumes. There will be quite a significant increase from today’s levels as the average VSAT bandwidth is only around 1 Mbps, which is quite low compared to land levels now.” Further investment in HTS services over the next five years will be driven by rising demand for crew welfare and delivery of operations data. Increasing demand for data hungry applications on ships is coming from regulatory requirements, such as chart updates for ecdis, and providing better crew welfare, said Singtel associate director of satellite products Adam See-

toh. “Other drivers for more data could come from shipping management companies wanting to monitor their vessels more closely and efficiently.” He explained that there are two more key technology

MORTEN TENGS (Telenor): “For mobile data services, all satellites will be HTSs”

trends that could increase data usage on ships – emergence of big data and IT network security. Big data would involve gathering information from onboard systems such as engines, generators, fuel control, tank levels, etc. “Having more data enables ship managers to make informed decisions remotely,” said Mr See-toh. “This will in turn improve the operational efficiency of the vessels and cut costs for the company.” He also expects cyber security to be an important issue for shipowners and managers, which will drive demand for data. “IT systems on board could very well be vulnerable to cyber attacks. Being unprepared could expose shipowners to commercial, safety and environmental risks. Having a managed security system on board will not only reduce these risks significantly, it will also enable shipping companies to implement IT policies easily,” Mr See-toh commented.

NO REVOLUTION, JUST EVOLUTION OF TECHNOLOGY Some executives in the maritime VSAT sector feel that HTS and antenna technology advances will not dramatically change the business model. Maritime broadband in 2021 is likely to be very similar to 2016 as shipowners are expected to remain conservative in investment, and use only well-proven technology, explained Cobham Satcom director of maritime broadband Jens Ewerling. Although satellite operators have invested multiple billions of dollars in HTS, maritime is unlikely to use much of this, he commented. “The enormous capacity coming online in Ku, Ka and L-bands is mostly designed for the insatiable internet demand from airline passengers,” he said. “The maritime market will not change much. Globally operating cargo vessels are already upgrading to Ku-band networks and typically using 1m-class antenna, while cruise ships and oil platforms will still be using our large Sea-Tel C-band systems.” He expects owners of smaller vessels will continue using cellular networks around the coasts instead of paying for VSAT. “But those vessels that really need uninterrupted connectivity regardless of shoreside networks will be able to choose from super-light, compact high performance antenna systems,” Mr Ewerling said. He recognised the development of flat panels antennas will offer alternatives, but does not expect that to impact demand for conventional terminals. “Due to simple physics, high performance stabilised antennas with a similar form factor will always perform better on the satellite

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networks, providing much more reliable services and higher bandwidths,” he commented. Mr Ewerling also said L-band services and VSAT will become more similar in terms of available bandwidth over the next five years. With this in mind, he recommended that antenna manufacturers should be committed to maritime broadband on any frequency. Future investment in maritime VSAT will mostly be on the ship to collate online content to reduce the need for constant data re-downloading. EMC chief commercial officer John Finney expects holding content on board ships, especially passenger vessels, will improve the quality of service that users will receive. “While ensuring reliable connectivity and maximising uptime is important, we also need to consider the overall experience we deliver to end users,” he said. “They have become accustomed to lowering their expectations when it comes to satellite internet access because of the long distances the signal must travel through space to the geostationary satellites. He said there is a solution to this: “We cannot bring the satellites closer to the users, but with technologies like SpeedNet we can bring users much closer to the content they want, at the speeds they have come to expect from land-based WiFi and 4G connections. High speed internet over satellite gives us a powerful drive that will boost demand for satellite capacity. This puts us in a strong position to fill the HTS payloads as the new satellites come online this year.” VSAT

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016





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perators, owners and managers of ships and offshore vessels are reaping the benefits from deploying VSAT across their fleets. Some have done so to improve crew welfare, while others need VSAT to deliver high level online services to passengers. All are able to use VSAT to improve operations and reduce costs in the related services the technology enables. German ship operator Briese Schiffahrts has deployed Globecomm’s iDirect Evolution-based VSAT service across its fleet during 2015 and this year. Crew welfare was its main reason for this investment. VSAT enables seafarers to use online services and call home in a cost-effective way. “VSAT has proven to be an extremely reliable service for us,” said Briese IT manager Holger Börchers. “It has enabled us to provide our crews with increased and more cost-effective access to the internet and voice services.” Briese uses Globecomm’s Nimbus service platform to manage the VSAT connectivity, network and crew access. It has also deployed WiFi on some vessels to enable crew to use their own mobile devices on board. “The Nimbus managed service platform enables the crew to surf the internet, and the Access GSM service allows the crew to make and receive voice calls using their own

Norwegian Cruise Line is enhancing VSAT on a fleet of 23 cruise ships

SHIPOWNERS, OPERATORS AND MANAGERS FROM A VARIETY OF SHIPPING AND VESSEL SECTORS PROVIDE INSIGHT INTO THE REASON FOR DEPLOYING VSAT AND ASSOCIATED SOLUTIONS handsets,” said Mr Börchers. Carisbrooke Shipping selected Marlink to deliver VSAT and WiFi solutions on its fleet of dry cargo and multipurpose vessels. Marlink will deploy Ku-band VSAT, an L-band backup, and its Xchange communications management platform. This handles automatic switching between satellites and WiFi connections for crew, and enables remote access and administration. Marlink will also set up a virtual private network across the fleet, and remote control of the IT equipment on the ships. For Carisbrooke Shipping’s fleet technical director Martin Henry, VSAT has delivered modern crew ›››


››› welfare packages and improved management of onboard IT systems. “When we implemented our strategy to future proof our fleet with high-bandwidth communications on board, we decided to test a few VSAT services,” he said. Marlink’s service offered operational benefits and support for the changing communication needs of its seafarers. “Improved control and management of systems and computer networks from ashore is a big plus,” said Mr Henry. “But more importantly, VSAT gives our crew members onboard access to modern, reliable and fast communication services that can be used from their own devices.” Carisbrooke expects to install VSAT and XChange on all of its vessels by the end of this year. Norwegian Cruise Line recently entered a long-term, strategic agreement with EMC to use the latest satellite communications and onboard WiFi technology to offer fast internet connectivity to passengers. This includes deploying EMC’s SpeedNet technology across the fleet of 23 cruise ships, including those managed by Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, to meet rapidly growing passenger internet requirements. This will quadruple the current bandwidth available across the fleet. Passengers are increasingly demanding faster internet and online entertainment, which needs to be delivered by VSAT. Under this latest agreement, all ships will have EMC technology on board by July to deliver web, entertainment and multimedia services to passengers. Norwegian vice president for onboard revenue Ross Henderson said EMC’s technology is a major improvement on

Carisbrooke Shipping is deploying VSAT for crew welfare and remote IT support

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previous online services to passengers. “With the addition of new hardware, combined with the significant increase in satellite bandwidth, shoreside connectivity and EMC’s SpeedNet, we have moved beyond the decades-old problem of slow data speeds from satellite, to deliver a much more efficient and faster internet experience for our guests,” he said. “Our passengers can consume online content, post to social media and stay in touch with family and friends on the ships’ network, just as they are used to on land.” Thome Ship Management is using KVH Industries to improve crew welfare on product tankers and gas carriers it manages. These vessels have satellite communications for crew online services, but Thome wanted to enhance its welfare package with media content. It approached KVH for a steady supply of the latest films, which were fully licensed for onboard viewing. KVH is supplying its MovieLink service to 41 ships that Thome manages. It initially rolled-out the service to product tankers and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers. Thome Group president Claes Eek Thorstensen, explained the reason for this service: “We are committed to ensuring our seafarers have an excellent work environment, and crew welfare services are a key part of that mission,” he said. “We see the MovieLink service as an ideal way to keep crew morale and welfare at a high level. More satisfied seafarers’ loyalty contributes to lower costs for recruitment, training, and retention.” Another ship management company chose to deploy KVH VSAT on its fleet of LPG carriers for the crew, and to improve its vessel performance. Singapore-based Byzantine Maritime Gas has deployed KVH’s TracPhone V11-IP antenna systems with mini-VSAT Broadband service on the gas carriers. These are dualmode antennas that operate over C-band and Ku-band for global connectivity, redundancy, and rain-fade resistance. The ships are able to achieve data speeds up to 4 Mbps on the downlink and 1 Mbps on the uplink. Byzantine Maritime Gas also chose KVH’s CommBox network manager for firewalls, web caching and compression, and other data optimisation tools, the myKVH web portal for configuring the onboard network, monitoring vessel positioning, and allocating data usage. This was of particular interest to Byzantine Maritime Gas director Belal Ahmed. “We chose this VSAT for its global coverage and fast data speeds, which are essential for our modern fleet to be able to operate as efficiently as possible,” he said. “We also find it very important to have a tool such as the myKVH portal, which provides valuable vessel positioning, data control, and fleet management for us.” Controlling costs and VSAT access are also important for drillship operators, especially as they have seen dramatic drops in vessel utilisation and charter rates. Transocean, with one of the largest fleets of drillships, was no exception. It is installing Harris CapRock One systems on its ships to manage communications for operations and crew. The solution includes dedicated bandwidth for crew internet, traffic optimisation and cyber security. Transocean IT director Steve Fraser expects the solution to improve system performance while reducing downtime and maintenance costs. It should more than double available bandwidth for the Transocean fleet, while providing a single worldwide bandwidth price. “Harris CapRock is providing us with a complete communications solution founded on breakthrough technology that delivers robust, always-on service anywhere in the world,” he said. “It offered us the flexibility to control our costs and the ability to be more agile in responding to the market.” VSAT

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ntelsat plans to invest around US$1.8-2 billion in upgrading and enhancing its satellite fleet between 2016 and 2018. This will include satellites to replace ageing network units, and a new constellation of high throughput Ku-band satellites using EpicNG spot beam technology. According to Intelsat senior principal product manager for maritime services Chris Insall, the existing network of around 50 satellites generates a global broadband mobility network for various industries and government users, primarily using C-band and Ku-band. Not all of the satellites are used for maritime and offshore sectors, but a significant portion are. “Our network is purposebuilt to deliver broadband infrastructure to the maritime and aeronautical sectors,” he said. “The network of 14 customised beams on 11 satellites is fully interoperable and integrated with our globalised network that comprises approximately 50 satellites.” It is integrated with the IntelsatOne terrestrial infrastructure and the company’s next generation, high throughput satellite fleet. Intelsat developed IntelsatOne Flex as a global managed service to deliver an enterprise grade service for VSAT providers. “It provides a wholesale Mbps service with tiered committed information rate plans,” said Mr Insall. “The service addresses bandwidth surges and geographic shifts in demand, meaning vessel operators are not paying for connectivity they are not using.” When it comes to new satellite technology, Intelsat was one of the first to introduce a spot beam high throughput satellite (HTS) solution. “The first of our EpicNG satellites, Intelsat 29e, began operations in April providing services over the Americas and the busy North Atlantic,” he explained. “Intelsat 33e will bring capacity to Africa, Asia and Europe and is scheduled to be launched in the second half of 2016. The launch of Horizons 3e will complete the global high throughput footprint, covering the Pacific region in the second half of 2018. In addition to

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

Intelsat has invested in new Ku-band satellites for maritime high throughput services

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in-orbit advancements, Intelsat is working to make access to satellite solutions much simpler and cost efficient.” SES has launched a maritime VSAT service and expanded investment to launch more satellites to provide coverage for shipping. It is opening up Ka-band coverage on two Astra satellites to shipping operating in Europe. Vessels will be able to access this using the Gilat technology and Epak DSi9 maritime antenna. SES is also set to provide more Ku-band coverage over the Indian Ocean following the launch of SES-9. This satellite should offer coverage from the Suez Canal to the Pacific for ships, as well as extra bandwidth for vessels


operating in Indonesia. SES will follow this launch by investing in more high power satellites with maritime coverage. SES10, which is scheduled to be launched before the end of this year, will provide Ku-band coverage over the Caribbean and South America.

SES-11 is also due to be launched before the end of this year with C-band coverage over North America. In 2017, SES is planning to launch a high throughput satellite with spot Ku-band beams over the Caribbean, the North Atlantic and northern Europe. Another

is due to be launched with spot beams over southern Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. SES recently sold capacity on these satellites – SES-14 and SES15 – to Panasonic Avionics Corp for both the maritime and aviation mobility markets. The majority of its coverage is delivered to shipping through VSAT service partners. But the satellite operator can also provide VSAT solutions directly through its SES Techcom Services division, which is how it intends to deliver VSAT to shipping in the North Sea, Irish Sea and in European inland waterways. It is targeting this service to offshore support vessels, offshore windfarm vessels and river cruise ships.

GROWING CONSTELLATIONS THROUGH INVESTMENT ViaSat is investing in high throughput satellites and has an agreement with KVH Industries to deliver maritime VSAT. This agreement means ViaSat provides internet services to many seagoing vessels on KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband network over the majority of the busiest maritime corridors. KVH’s network consists of 25 transponders (22 of Ku-band and three C-band) on 18 satellites. ViaSat claims that its most powerful asset, the ViaSat-1 satellite, has the highest capacity of any currently in orbit, providing broadband coverage over North America. In 2017 the operator plans to launch ViaSat-2 to double this capacity. This satellite will also offer VSAT coverage over the North Atlantic to serve ships sailing between North America, including the Caribbean and Europe. Investment will continue as ViaSat intends to launch a third high throughput satellite in 2019 or 2020. This will offer 1 Gbps online speeds for use in maritime applications. Eutelsat operates a fleet of 40 geostationary satellites providing Ku-band and C-band coverage for a variety of services and industry sectors. This includes broadcast, enterprise, data and mobility services for maritime and other markets. With its satellites in premium orbital positions, Eutelsat is able to serve users across the globe, from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. It operates key satellites over the Indian Ocean region including Eutelsat 36B, 16A, 10A, and 5WA. Service providers offer VSAT to shipping over the Pacific Ocean on the Eutelsat 172A, formerly the GE-23 satellite. This has 20 C-band transponders and 18 for Ku-band in the region. The company will boost coverage in the Pacific in the first half of next year when it launches Eutelsat 172B. This will have 36 regular Ku-band transponders, 14 for C-band

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and 11 high throughput Ku-band spot beams. The Parislisted company is also investing in its first Eutelsat Quantum satellite, which it claims will revolutionise telecommunications. This was ordered from Airbus Defence and Space with in-orbit reprogrammable features, such as dynamic beam shaping and vessel-tracking capabilities. It will have a bespoke design of wide-area networks and dynamic traffic shaping features, and the latest encryption technology for heightened security, and is due to be launched in 2019. Telesat is investing in satellite services for maritime VSAT, launching its latest asset in November last year. The Telstar 12 Vantage satellite offers high throughput Ku-band coverage over Europe, the Caribbean, off East Africa, and across the South Atlantic. Panasonic Avionics Corp recently signed a contract with Telesat to use the high throughput coverage for maritime markets in the Mediterranean and European waterways. The capacity will also provide broadband coverage in the North Sea for shipping and the offshore oil and gas industry. Panasonic now has Ku-band capacity on four Telesat satellites, including almost all of the Telstar 12 Vantage capacity. Russian group Gazprom Space Systems offers maritime VSAT coverage on its Yamal satellites. Its Yamal-402 satellite delivers Ku-band services from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean. Recent agreements have seen SpeedCast, NSSLGlobal and Radio Holland take capacity on the satellite. SpeedCast and NSSLGlobal is using the coverage over East Africa, and Radio Holland is using a northern beam to provide services to shipping in the Russian Arctic, particularly in the Barents Sea and Kara Sea. Gazprom Space Systems operates a constellation of four satellites – Yamal-202, Yamal-300K, Yamal-401 and Yamal-402, and operates ground telecommunications infrastructure. VSAT

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Inmarsat launches Fleet I

nmarsat Maritime president Ronald Spithout said Fleet Xpress (FX) will revolutionise the way shipping uses communications, and that the service Inmarsat commercially launched at the end of March is more than just the extra bandwidth throughput. It is a complete application delivery and broadband management system that vessel operators can use to maximise the use of information, while optimising the bandwidth they need. Inmarsat commercially started its US$1.6 billion Ka-band Global Xpress (GX) service and began offering it to maritime sectors as FX at the end of the first quarter. FX combines the Ka-band from the recently commissioned I-5 constellation of three satellites with the L-band FleetBroadband (FB) service delivered over the four-satellite I-4 constellation. Each satellite has its own two ground stations, including one for redundancy, and links to worldwide fibre optic networks. There are six ground stations for GX and six for FB in different locations, plus service centres in Europe, Singapore and the US. Terminal suppliers Cobham Satcom, Intellian and Japan Radio Co ( JRC)

Inmarsat has invested US$1.6 billion in its fifth generation of satellites and network gateway to revolutionise VSAT services to shipping have developed 1m and 60cm diameter antennas for GX. iDirect has developed the onboard terminal technology, including the modems and ground station IT systems, while Cisco developed the Gateway service enablement platform. Mr Spithout said FX includes the new Inmarsat Gateway, which will enable application developers to offer online apps to vessel operators over the optimised bandwidth. “The Gateway is the software layer between the customer and our network for interfacing with applications that are tuned to work on the network,” he said. “This leads to app-triggered bandwidth, where we invoice the bandwidth for applications to the app providers, who would sell the apps directly to shipowners.” These applications could be used for improving operational efficiencies, crew welfare, safety and compliance, and IT and security.

Developers could provide apps for monitoring engine performance, providing chart updates or weather information. They could deliver telemedicine, crew entertainment, or voice over IP, remote IT support, and cyber security. Mr Spithout said there would be guaranteed committed information rates, service level agreements and flexible bandwidth. This means vessel operators could change the bandwidth level for periods when there is little onboard demand, then order a burst of bandwidth for video conferencing or other applications. “We want to be a software enabler,” said Mr Spithout. “We have certified application partnerships for apps over our Gateway. We have partners and distributors, and we will accredit apps if they operate well over our network. We will provide dynamic bandwidth to enable subscription-based apps on vessels, or allow in-app purchases, such as navigation

Inmarsat controls the spot beams on Global Xpress from a control room in London

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The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016


Xpress services chart purchases.” He continued: “We can preposition content, such as news, sport, video, and training software on board ships. We will host the apps on board, thus we are resetting the standards of communications on board.” Inmarsat vice president for service delivery Peter Broadhurst said there was an independent pipe of broadband for data, another for voice services and one for applications. This all has to be managed via the network enablement platform. “The Gateway is the interface to our service enablement platform, for our partners, operators, end users, and content developers,” said Mr Broadhurst. “It will provide billing, network operations, service settings, content hosting, app hosting, monitoring and servicing. We will enable apps, for example for vessel monitoring and improving efficiency, for reducing emissions, route monitoring and remote surveillance.” He explained that within the whole pipe of bandwidth there is one for the main crew

and business traffic, another for voice services, and a management and support pipe that goes between the service enablement platform and the network service device. “We have a pipe for voice services outside the main bandwidth pipe so we can run voice calls without impacting client time.” Inmarsat has produced 15 price plans, with durations of 36 months, to be used over a 1m or 60cm diameter antenna. Mr Broadhurst said more would be introduced as vessel operators are interested in higher bandwidth levels and different durations. He emphasised the flexibility of the service to enable vessel operators to increase bandwidth when it is required. “We could do short-term upgrades if video conferencing is needed, or seasonal suspensions if the vessel goes into layup,” he said. In future, apps such as telemedicine could open more bandwidth for vessel operators. FX can accommodate up to 25 IP or analogue phones, and handle five simultaneous

calls from dedicated or shared phones for pre-paid crew calling. It also supports the 505 emergency and safety service and enables two FB terminals to be connected to the network service device. This manages the route of data and voice traffic in real-time. There is appetite among vessel owners to invest in FX for crew welfare and business communications, with a backlog of around 600 vessels that want to upgrade their VSAT services to FX and around 150 active terminals. The GX constellation delivers broadband across the main shipping areas worldwide. Mr Broadhurst said three Boeing-built I-5 satellites provide coverage from 89 spot beams. One satellite provides coverage over the Indian Ocean region and Asia. A second has spot beams across the Atlantic Ocean region and Americas, and a third covers the Pacific region. A fourth I-5 satellite is being built, and could be launched before the end of this year to provide additional Ka-band capacity where it is needed.

TELENOR LAUNCHES THOR 7 MARITIME SERVICE Norwegian satellite operator Telenor Satellite has launched its Thor 7 Ka-band service in maritime markets following a lengthy testing period. Telenor chief executive Morten Tengs confirmed that beta testing of the regional service on more than 20 vessels had shown satisfaction and reliability levels were good enough to launch the service commercially. Thor 7 provides high throughput broadband on 25 Ka-band spot beams, of which 18 are over the seas around Europe, including the Mediterranean, Norwegian, Baltic, Barents and the North Seas. It also offers spot beam coverage on Ka-band over the Black Sea, Caspian and in the Middle East. “We are finally in a position to launch the service commercially after a long testing period,” Mr Tengs said. “Around 10 satellite service providers contributed more than 20 vessels, including car carriers, gas carriers, ferries and fishing vessels to the beta tests. Now the service is adequate for commercial use, and there is pent up demand.” VSAT

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

Telenor tested Thor 7 before it was launched in 2015

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VSAT MARKET, DEMAND VSAT penetration in shipping source: NSR/iDirect











Passenger shipping VSAT bandwidth capabilities

Global maritime broadband in-service units, by segment

source: Telenor Maritime

source: NSR








offshore fishing

2017 2018

100,000 Kbps

50,000 Kbps

50,000 Kbps

25,000 Kbps

1,024 Kbps

512 Kbps

512 Kbps

128 Kbps

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024

2005 2013 2015 2016

0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 100,000 120,000 140,000 160,000 In-service units

Market for broadband includes source: Inmarsat


68,300 merchant ships

large fishing vessels

17,000 general cargo carriers

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10,900 offshore support vessels

15,000 tankers

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

AND APPLICATIONS Vessel monitoring: equipment condition, performance, analysis


Crew welfare: social media, VoIP, messaging, media content

Passenger services: broadband, social media, online services

VSAT-enabled applications

Voyage optimisation: weather forecasts, chart updates


Virtual networks

1,800 6,180





drilling rigs/drillships



bulk carriers

container ships

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

cruise ships

graphic: Sasha Tan

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Developing antennas for HTS services T

he introduction of high throughput satellites (HTS) with spot beams of either Ka-band or Ku-band means terminals can have smaller antennas. But there were engineering challenges to overcome in their development, particularly for global operations. Since the turn of the millennium, the 1m diameter antenna reflector has been the accepted size in maritime VSAT, at least on Ku-band frequencies. Antennas such as Cobham Satcom’s Sea Tel 4003 have enabled service providers to deliver Ku-band VSAT on an increasingly global basis to commercial shipping. Some vessels have used smaller antennas, with 60cm diameter reflectors. But these are mostly for regional VSAT services, where the vessel would remain within a single satellite wide beam, or for specific applications. “Today, the volume market for global Ku-band is dominated by 1m, fully integrated systems like the Sailor 900 VSAT,” said Cobham Satcom director of maritime broadband Jens Ewerling. “Thousands of these have been deployed on globally trading cargo ships that have upgraded from legacy L-band services.” He said the 1m antenna is preferred because it prevents degradation of the signal when ships are operating over the edge of a Ku-band beam. “Maritime VSAT operators had to deal with ‘roll-off’ towards the edges of the satellite beams. As vessels

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

Delivering smaller antennas for the next generation of VSAT services had its engineering challenges

get closer to the edges of coverage operators need to deploy antennas with larger reflector dish sizes and higher power levels to maintain the connection to the satellite.” The issues with antenna dish size are reduced if ships are using high throughput satellite services. These use overlapping spot beams to cover similar or even more areas of the world than a single traditional wide beam satellite. Therefore, smaller antennas can be deployed. “Smaller reflector dish sizes are becoming a viable alternative – even for quasi-global networks,” said Mr Ewerling.

“Because the spot beams overlap, the satellites are able to deliver reliable bandwidths previously not possible unless using a 1m or larger antenna. Whereas before the size of the antenna, or cost and complexity of installation, may have been a limiting factor, thousands more vessels can now consider migrating to the always-on, fixed price VSAT model.” This could include workboats, fishing vessels and superyachts. But it is not just a case of shrinking down existing antennas, because the smaller size introduces other challenges. “Traditionally,

Sailor 60 GX has a fusion of carbon fibre and aluminium to add strength and stiffness

the designer of a small antenna would instinctively add mass to keep exposure to vibration and shock under control,” Mr Ewerling explained. “Ka-band antennas have to point with 0.2 degrees of accuracy at a satellite which is 36,000km away. Keeping such small movements in check is a vital criterion for an antenna designer.” Cobham Satcom achieved a weight of less than 37kg for its new generation of antennas – Sailor 60 GX for Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress, and Sailor 60 VSAT for Ka-band services. These have the ability to maintain a link to the satellite even in the worst sea conditions. “The antenna design team deployed a unique fusion of carbon fibre and aluminium to add strength and stiffness,” he added. “This reduces the impact of vibration on the link, whilst keeping the weight down.” Mr Ewerling continued: “New Ka-band satellites use circular polarisation in contrast to the linear polarisation in Ku-band, which requires two lownoise block down-converters (LNBs) for global availability. Ku-band antennas require a polarisation unit behind the reflector dish, which adds to their complexity and weight. The beauty of Ka-band is that a super-light antenna like the Sailor 60 GX is possible, because polarisation is managed electronically in a single LNB. VSAT

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Antennas developed K

orean VSAT terminal supplier KNS has unveiled a series of new antennas in a variety of different bands to enhance VSAT capabilities and efficiency in shipping. This includes new antennas for maritime users covering Ku-band and Ka-band services. KNS has introduced new versions (MK3) of the Z-SuperTrack series for shipping, commercial vessels, offshore vessels and fishing vessels. KNS sales and marketing director Noah Chung said the developments come from work the company has done for naval ships. He said: “We are very much on track with our new product development this year. We have focused on the military environment, knowing that these customers operate in the harshest of conditions. This enables other industries to take advantage of these mission-critical applications and benefit from strong and reliable communications.” From the Z-SuperTrack series, KNS has introduced two new antennas – the Z7 MK3-Ku and Z10 MK3-Ka. Mr Chung said these products would be ideal for ships looking for faster broadband speeds at sea. “This is where they require reliable and always-on internet, voice over IP and fast email service,” he explained. The new Z7 MK3-Ku has a dish diameter of 75cm and weighs 86kg. The antenna has been approved by military standard regulations and is already being distributed by AnaTel in Brazil. With such strict military testing, the ship motion specification is very high. The antenna can operate up to ship rolling of ± 24.7 degrees at an eight second period, if the ship pitches up to ± 15 degrees at six second periods. and if it yaws at ±8 degrees in 15 second periods. The Z10 MK3-Ka antenna has a dish diameter of 100cm and weighs 119.5kg. It has a shock absorber and a wire rope isolator to reduce vibration, and an all-inone portable control unit, with all upgrades available remotely, Mr Chung said. KNS is working with Telenor Satellite to test the Z10 MK3-Ka antenna in preparation for approval of its use on the Thor 7 regional Ka-band service that covers the seas around Europe.


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The whole Z-SuperTrack series has MK2 antennas that are 60cm, 75cm, 85cm, 1m, 1.2m 1.5m, 1.8m and 2.4m in diameter, for C, Ku, X, and Ka-band services. “All the RF components have been tuned and optimised to meet the high quality demands of satellite operators and regulatory requirements,” said Mr Chung. “The radomes are manufactured from KNScustomised honeycomb structures for low loss in Ku and Ka-band antennas.” The new MK3 line has been designed and engineered with 16 years experience of maritime VSAT. They come with the all-in-one portable control unit, containing all the electronics of the antenna in one unit, allowing users to change one box and plug in five cables in less than one hour. It allows service providers who utilise multiple sizes of antennas to stock minimal parts, as an all-in-one unit from a 1m antenna can be used on a 75cm antenna, a motor from an 85cm antenna can be used on a 1.2m one. “The main goal was to design the MK3 platform to be simple,” Mr Chung explained. “KNS engineers use common parts throughout the entire MK3 product line meaning all motors, electronics, and sensors are interchangeable.” The antenna can be monitored and controlled, and software can be upgraded remotely using a web-based interface. “Having web-based control software means a user or technician can access the antenna remotely from any location using any internet browser online,” Mr Chung said. “All online devices can be used, including smartphones, tablets and computers with no restrictions to the web browser.” The MK3 range has passed three military standard tests. These are MILSTD-461, an electromagnetic interference and emission test; the MIL-STD-901 test that covers shock testing for shipboard machinery, equipment, and structures; and the MIL-STD-167-1A test for mechanical vibration on shipboard equipment. This standard specifies procedures and requirements for environmental and internal

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016


for advanced VSAT vibration of naval shipboard equipment installed on ships. KNS has also developed a VSAT crossover system that enables a ship to have a dual VSAT configuration, connected to a router and satellite modem. “This enables a much easier process of switching from one antenna to another, and with low maintenance,” said Mr Chung. This fits in a standard rack and weighs 4.5kg. There is a receiver and transmitter attenuator for each antenna, and an emission control feature for radio silence or termination of the transmission. The Korean company has also introduced a dual-band antenna that switches between Ku-band and Ka-band seamlessly. The maritime version of this is also capable of switching to X-band. “All our multi-band antennas can switch between frequency bands within 15 seconds automatically,” said Mr Chung. KNS’ next development will be in Ka-band linear terminals for operators. “This will open up many new opportunities and expand our growing market share within the industry,” he added. UK-based Scot Sat specialises in manufacturing light VSATs for maritime applications. According to chief executive Steve McCabe, it has developed a threeaxes, 60cm maritime VSAT antenna for Ku-band services. It has a built-in iDirect modem, 6W block upconverter and low noise block downconverter for use in multiple regions. “This will allow broadband communications on vessels operating globally,” said Mr McCabe. Scot Sat used 3D printing technology to design and manufacture parts of the antenna system. The radome is made of 3mm plastic, and is 80cm in height and width. “The antenna system including radome weighs less than 30kg, and requires only CAT 5 cabling from above decks. Our system is quick and easy to deploy,” Mr McCabe explained. Scot Sat is currently working on a 1m

Scot Sat used 3D technology to manufacture parts of its 60cm antenna

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

version of its maritime antenna, as well as a small deployable antenna. Japan Radio Co (JRC) has developed antennas and terminal systems for various Ka-band services. It is already a partner in Inmarsat’s Global Xpress programme and is currently running approval tests for Telenor’s Thor 7 service. JRC also has agreements to provide hardware for KVH Industries’ Ku-band services and other VSAT providers. Its affiliate Alphatron Marine can also provide VSAT services. In October 2015, JRC became a distributor of Intellian 1m diameter GX terminals in Japan. Skytech Research has also tested its Ka-band 75cm antenna on Thor 7. The BB75 Ka-band terminal was designed for yachts, passenger ferries and offshore vessels. The 35kg antenna can work with the iDirect X7 and CX700 remotes and implements the OpenAMIP and OpenBMIP protocols. BB75 Ka has a high precision inertial sensor, which means it does not need an external gyro. It is optimised for use on Thor 7 spot beams, even at high latitudes. The antenna can be managed through an online application available from the Apple Store. Skytech has also developed a series of

maritime Ku-band antennas and the dualband BB75Ku/Ka antenna. This is also designed for yachts, offshore vessels, ferries and commercial ships that want to use the high throughput of Ka-band, and need the back-up coverage offered by Ku-band networks. The antenna is equipped with two independent RF groups for the Ku and Ka-band sharing through the same efficient coaxial feed. The radome was specifically designed to reduce losses and the depolarisation effects of Ka-band. Orbit Communication Systems offers OceanTRx4 and OceanTRx7 antennas to use over C-band, X-band and different K-bands, which is mostly used on naval vessels. The OceanTRx4 terminal includes a 1.15m antenna in a radome and the OceanTRx7 unit includes a 2.2m antenna. Orbit said these are modular systems that enable easy maintenance and upgrades on ships, good RF performance and dynamic responses in all sea conditions. C2Sat Communications supplies Ku-band antennas. Its latest addition is the C2SAT Ku100 stabilised antenna for performance in harsh environmental conditions. The reflector is made of carbon fibre, reducing the weight, and complies with Eutelsat’s requirements. The antenna is fast thanks to the gimbal design with AC motors on each axis and the gradient satellite tracking method on all four axes. The antenna locks on the satellite within eight seconds, starting from its parking position. Epak has developed VSAT maritime antennas for vessels such as yachts, passenger ships and offshore support. Its latest agreement involves the use of its EPAK DSi9 antenna with SES Techcom Services’ Astra Connect service. This uses Ka-band spot beams with coverage over the North Sea, Irish Sea and European inland waterways to the northern Mediterranean and Adriatic seas. It also has EPAK DSi9 and DSi6 for Ku-band deepsea VSAT and a series of antennas for river vessels. VSAT

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UPGRADE KITS HELP OWNERS CONVERT TO KA-BAND Intellian has introduced an antenna upgrade kit for Ka-band, an automatic band-switching unit for C/Ku-band and Fiber Link


ntellian Technologies has developed an antenna upgrade package that enables owners to change from Ku-band to Ka-band. Intellian director of product management Matthew Galston said an upgrade on the v100 antenna takes just 10 or 15 minutes with an upgrade kit. “This comes pre-packed with a new radio frequency (RF) feed and RF module,” he explained. “The v100 reflector and radome have been designed for optimal performance in both frequencies. Eliminating the need to swap out the reflector or even remove the radome to go from Ku-band to Ka-band is a huge advantage, as it saves time, cost and complexity.” The fact that the v100 VSAT works on both bands means that shipowners and operators can use Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network or other Ka-band services, such as Telenor’s Thor 7 satellite, which promise to deliver greater throughput. Intellian also supplies the v240M automatic band-switching VSAT antenna system. This transfers automatically

between C-band and Ku-band satellites with a simple button tap either on the below deck equipment, or using a smartphone. “The v240M was designed from the ground up as a true multiband system, meaning performance is outstanding in both frequencies,” said Mr Galston. “Modem and antenna mediators enable flexible installation, uninterrupted service and unmatched system redundancy.” Intellian has also developed its own fibre-optics solution, called Fiber Link, for connecting the antenna to the below-deck terminal. “This single cable solution delivers near zero loss for cable runs up to 2km and outperforms other third party fibre solutions that are more than double the cost,” Mr Galston commented. “Our solution installs easily and auto-calibrates, saving hours of installation and tuning time. Customers using our Fiber Link solution have doubled throughput without any change to their service plan.” Terminals are connected to onboard systems through an Ethernet connection. The antenna is connected

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to a control unit and the radio frequency signals are received by a modem which is itself connected to a below-deck terminal. “The antennas are also connected to the modem, which means they can be monitored and managed through a connection to the local area network. Or they are connected remotely through our remote control software, Aptus.” This is a multi-platform solution that enables remote monitoring from computers and mobile devices. Aptus is also built into the antenna control unit as a web browser, providing a way to connect remotely to any antenna on board a ship. Mr Galston suggested there would be more innovations to come that would open new markets to VSAT services, and improve performance for commercial shipping solutions. “Through our close co-operation with leading satellite communications providers, we will continue to pioneer developments in maritime connectivity in the years ahead,” he commented. “We believe these will include higher throughput services,

greater redundancy, more flexible arrangements on board ship including, for example, frequency band agnostic systems, multiband antennas, flat-panel antennas and a general shift to electronically steerable rather than mechanically steerable solutions.” He expects demand for VSAT in the small vessel market – leisure craft, fishing vessels and workboats – could exceed installations in commercial shipping. “Vessels in the small boat market number hundreds of thousands so clearly this is an attractive proposition from a volume standpoint.” He continued: “To be successful in scaling our technology to this degree, however, there is more to it than just better technology on the hardware side. We are still looking at complex electronics that must be installed on ships at sea. There will always be a need for service, maintenance and repair of these systems. We see huge potential in the commercial, leisure and fishing sectors, which represent the largest untapped opportunity in the VSAT market.” VSAT

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

JRC FleetXpress solutions

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MARITIME CONNECTIVITY SOLUTIONS With capacity commercialised on 40 satellites, Eutelsat is one of the world’s leading satellite operators. Our Regional Connect solutions provide corporate networking services tailored to specific requirments for ferries, yachts, sea-based oil and gas operations, government and cruise ships.




omtech EF Data has developed an array of tailored satellite networking solutions for the extremely demanding maritime VSAT market. The product suite provides high net spectral efficiencies, reliable connectivity and service quality for VSAT suppliers to pass on to shipowners. Comtech EF Data supplies networking platforms, modems and integrated management systems for C, Ku, and Ka-band VSAT. “This is achieved through advanced modulation and forward error correction (FEC) techniques, teamed with adaptive coding and modulation (ACM) methods in both directions,” said Comtech EF Data vice president Steve Good. “This allows each vessel’s connection to be uniquely optimised in both the outbound direction and from ship-to-shore. In addition, high horsepower processing engines on both ends of the link provide the most efficient optimisation of IP streams.” This is achieved through low overhead IP encapsulation, header and lossless payload compression, traffic shaping, multi-level quality-of-service along with purpose-built wide access network (WAN) and radio access network (RAN) traffic optimisation. These technologies have been incorporated into a tiered modem product line for maritime, offshore and other sectors. These include: • CDM-760 advanced high speed trunking modem • CDM-625A advanced satellite modem • CDM-570A satellite modem for the commercial market • SLM-5650A satellite modem for government and military, and • DMD2050E satellite modem targeting government and military. “Our broad radio frequency (RF) amplifier and converter product suite has been fieldproven over decades to operate robustly and reliably within the harsh conditions common at sea,” Mr Good explained. “Network intelligence and analytics are a key element in controlling costs while providing the best overall quality-of-experience (QoE) to the end user.”

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

Comtech EF Data, iDirect and Newtec have IT solutions that enable VSAT providers to deliver their solutions on ships worldwide using the latest high throughput satellites

STEVE GOOD (Comtech EF Data): “Technology allows each vessel’s connection to be uniquely optimised in both directions”

The NetVue integrated management system has an intuitive graphical user interface and a powerful traffic analytics engine that acts as a front-end to monitor and control digital transmission and RF equipment. “This important tool allows the simplified design, implementation, monitor, control and network optimisation required to provide that elevated QoE,” said Mr Good. “These features work in tandem to enable the service provider to intelligently maximise resources, ensure network uptime and provide the elevated levels of service that are required to support both fixed and mobile sites.” Comtech EF Data’s Heights networking platform incorporates the latest advanced technologies to minimise latency (signal delay) and jitter. “It offers the highest throughput options available in the industry at a minimal total cost of ownership,” Mr Good continued. “The platform is powered by our powerful dynamic bandwidth manager that provides scalable, dynamic satellite capacity management on an as-needed basis. This bandwidth manager facilitates bandwidth-sharing, automates space segment allocation and manages pools of available bandwidth.” This feature blends the flexibility of multi-frequency time domain multiple access (TDMA) protocols with the efficiency of single channel per carrier (SCPC) technology by providing the architecture to dynamically manage bandwidth operations without requiring dedicated bandwidth for each remote location. “Service providers are able to remotely modify bandwidth allocations as requirements change automatically by the type of traffic, the traffic load, or manually, without requiring costly upgrades or site visits,” Mr Good explained. “The Heights networking platform leverages a field-proven global roaming capability, which is an absolute must for global, pan-regional and many regional maritime networks. This capability allows a service provider to offer seamless operation across several beams, different satellite footprints, multiple hubs and multiple,

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geographically dispersed teleports.” Heights uses a mobility controller embedded in the Heights remote gateway on board each vessel. This onboard mobility controller interfaces to the antenna control unit (ACU) and maintains satellite footprint maps, and initiates beam switching and handoff as the remote

gateway moves through satellite footprints. “It offers a common management interface for the mobility server and the ACU by providing a set of commands, information, interfaces and status queries.” Comtech EF Data’s global IP roaming implementation does not require the remote to be connected to the hub to

hand over from one satellite to another, as all intelligence is on board the vessels. “Because of this, the handover decisions and parameters are intelligently performed on board, thus minimising automatic beam switching times and guaranteeing that connectivity is dynamically maintained on the move,” Mr Good concluded.

NEW SOLUTION FOR HIGH THROUGHPUT NETWORKS iDirect has developed the Velocity IT platform for high throughput satellite services, including Inmarsat’s Global Xpress, Telenor Satellite’s Thor 7 regional Ka-band service and Intelsat’s EpicNG and IntelsatOne Flex Ku-band VSAT solutions. “IDirect Velocity is a complex system, managing a global mobility spot beam network and the ground infrastructure,” said iDirect chief operating officer Kevin Steen.

“It must accommodate multiple spot beams on multiple satellites, and provide seamless beam switching and high throughput.” The platform is designed to enable satellite operators to support multiple types of business models and multiple markets from one single platform, through levels of distributors to the end user. It facilitates a continuous, consistent service to vessels as they

traverse global networks. “This is of critical importance as remote units often need to travel across multiple satellites and experience a range of network conditions,” said Mr Steen. The technology is installed in ground stations as well as in modems and service enablement platforms on vessels. “It is a model for transforming maritime satellite communications, and a shift in how services are delivered,” he added.


The MDM5000 modem enables network operators to efficiently deliver up to 200 Mbps of download throughput

Newtec recently introduced an advanced VSAT modem for cruise ships and offshore drilling rigs and platforms. The MDM5000 satellite modem can be installed on passenger ships and offshore oil installations for interaction with the new generation of high throughput satellites being launched. The modem supports wideband digital video broadcasting over a second generation of satellites (DVB-S2X). The MDM5000 modem is part of the Newtec Dialog platform. This enables network operators to efficiently deliver up to 200 Mbps of throughput over a variety of satellite architectures and frequency bands, said Newtec vice president of market development Kevin McCarthy. “With its built-in support for mobility and a wide range of IP services, the modem is very well suited for the maritime market,” he said. “The high speed capabilities of the MDM5000 also make it ideal for bandwidth-intensive services, like video and social media. On the forward channel, the MDM5000 leverages the

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latest DVB-S2X transmission standard to maximise the benefit of high throughput satellites, “with up to 50 per cent more bits per hertz,” he added. “On the return channel, our unique Mx-DMA technology combines the low overhead of SCPC, with the flexibility of TDMA, also increasing efficiency by up to 50 per cent.” The modem is capable of receiving forward carriers of up to 140 MHz at speeds of up to 200 Mbps, while the return channel can handle speeds of 75 Mbps. It was designed to handle a wide range of IP services, including internet and intranet access, voice over IP, and mobile backhauling and trunking, along with video conferencing and multicasting. “The entire satellite industry is under pressure to innovate and become more competitive,” Mr McCarthy commented. “Efficiency, scalability and flexibility are the keys to a sustainable business model. Selecting the right VSAT platform is arguably the most important decision a service provider can make.” VSAT

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016



ith more ships being connected to broadband internet through VSAT solutions, there is greater need for security to mitigate cyber risks. Classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) recently published a 20-page guidance note, Cyber-enabled ships, which highlighted the risks vessels are facing and how to manage this. LR’s marine marketing director Luis Benito said the combination of connectivity advances and further integration of onboard systems puts more ships at risk of cyber attacks. “Connected ships will have to look at different levels of protection in terms of cyber security, depending on their degree of connectivity,” he commented. He thinks a total system approach to cyber security is needed, including different systems on vessels and ashore (see Marine Electronics & Communications April/May 2016).

Rival society ABS has warned marine engineers of the cyber threats to smart ship systems. ABS managing principal engineer George Reilly explained the issues at Riviera’s European Marine Engineering Conference in Amsterdam in April. He said the increasing use of smart shipping is compromising the integrity and reliability of monitoring systems. These could be affected by cyber threats if the smart ship systems use the internet for data and information transmission. “Smart assets are highly dependent on software and data quality, timeliness and integrity,” he explained. Cyber-enabled assets need security from these threats:


“Data architecture and data gathering systems require safeguards and monitors. Software quality may affect data integrity. System and software updates must be managed by configuration and change management procedures, which include testing,” Mr Reilly said. A total system approach

GEORGE REILLY (ABS): “System and software updates must be managed”

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can be taken when firewalls, antivirus, network and online controls, web filtering and user selection applications are set properly. Email scanning is an essential aspect to cyber security through VSAT. PortIT is developing the IRIS suite of applications that can be used to scan emails for malware. This will be available for existing email programmes such as AmosConnect, SkyFile Mail, Globe Email and others, using a database of antivirus products for scanning incoming mail, but will have a small data footprint, so it will be bandwidth efficient. The first stage of initiating this programme suite was the introduction of the Remote IRIS service in March. This enables operators to scan email attachments against Port-IT’s database of more than 55 antivirus products. The user would send an email they do not trust to the Remote IRIS service for antivirus checks. A reply will be sent within 10 minutes to confirm whether there are any threats. This is a free service from Port-IT. Marlink’s XChange integrated service delivery platform has a variety of security functions that can operate in conjunction with the SkyFile Mail service. It

has a suite of security tools, including built-in firewalls and the SkyFile Anti Virus program. According to Marlink, the software protects remote computer assets from potentially harmful viruses. It has fully automatic antivirus updates, notifications and version verifications that secure onboard computers and local area networks. KVH Industries’ cyber security services are hosted on the CommBox network management unit. These services enable ship operators to initiate connection-specific firewall rules, web address and content filtering, and antimalware filters. Ship masters can set up unique firewalled networks for operations and crew. Fleet or vessel IT directors can establish protocols for blocking websites, providing virus protection for all onboard internet usage, and manage individual crew members' access to the internet. Another cyber security function is the global static IP feature that can block undefined inbound applications, or filter out harmful applications. Harris CapRock offers a variety of cyber secure valueadded services for VSAT including the SafePass Pro advanced cyber security

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NEEDED FOR SHIPPING solution. Chief technology officer Rolf Berge said this provides defence against cyber attacks targeting offshore oil and gas IT infrastructure, cruise ships and commercial shipping. “The new cybersecurity solution includes Alert Logic threat monitoring services, which provide network intrusion monitoring and detection,” he said. There is also a vulnerability scanner, and firewall protection that supports web address and applications filtering. “Customers have access to our cyber security experts for a customised approach to pinpoint system vulnerabilities, monitor insider threats, proactively defend the network and respond to incidents,” Mr Berge added. BlueTide Communications,

EMIL REGARD (BlueTide): “The all-in solution delivers superior threat protection and application control”

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

an independent division of ESSI Corp, introduced the Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) cyber security solution for maritime and offshore users in April. This combines anti-malware, intrusion prevention, application control and content filtering to provide protection for onboard communications and IT networks. The service features deep packet inspection (a form of computer network packet filtering), anti-malware and application control to protect against network vulnerabilities, malicious attacks and potentially compromised mobile devices linked to onboard WiFi networks. “This all-in solution delivers superior threat protection and application control without compromising network performance,” said BlueTide managing director Emil Regard. The BlueTide global network operating centre provides 24/7 real-time event monitoring, analytics and reporting on application traffic, bandwidth utilisation, threats and suspicious activity. “This visibility and control over network traffic becomes a powerful troubleshooting tool to minimise downtime related to malicious applications,” he added. “With new vulnerabilities emerging and morphing each day, the firewall is continuously updated without interruption or a reboot.” SECaaS bundles gateway security and a unified threat management application with powerful monitoring, reporting and support into a rapid-todeploy package.


IS KEY FOCUS OF RIVIERA SUMMIT Cyber threats and security procedures will be discussed at a one-day seminar, held by Riviera Maritime Media and Norton Rose Fulbright in June. The Maritime Cyber Risk Management Summit will cover the types of threats that shipowners and managers face, and methods for mitigating the risk. It will be held in London on 21 June in association with media partner Marine Electronics & Communications. The latest best practices and technologies used to reduce the risks of a cyber security breach will be covered during the summit, as will dealing with the aftermath of a successful cyber attack. Partners of the event, as of the end of May, include class society DNV GL, secure technology provider Abatis, satellite operator Inmarsat, and cyber security risk specialists Waterfall Security Solutions, PA Consulting Group and EPSCO-Ra. Confirmed exhibitors include Port-IT and GT Maritime. During what is expected to be a lively first session, DNV GL principal specialist Mate J Csorba will explain the opportunities and threats posed by the Internet of Things. There will be a panel discussion on how to mitigate the risk of cyber attacks involving international

reinsurance broker CK Re chief executive Martin Wright, Norton Rose Fulbright partner Chris Zavos, a senipr executive from Inmarsat, and Stroz Friedberg vice president Vijay Rathour. Together they will also discuss incident response planning, data privacy, security policies and cyber risk mitigation procedures. Waterfall chief executive and co-founder Lior Frenkel will present best practices for securing the perimeter of the IT and communications networks. He will explain why firewalls and softwarebased solutions may not be effective against modern threats. In another session, PA Consulting Group managing consultant Andrew Wadsworth will host an interactive experience, taking delegates through cyber security scenarios, involving a narrative description of the incident. There will be various decision points at which the audience will be asked to cast votes on how they would respond using an automated system, with results to be reviewed in real-time during the session At the end of the summit there will be a drinks reception at Norton Rose Fulbright's offices on the Thames South Bank. VSAT

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Building a high throughput Ku-band fabric Panasonic Avionics will combine HTS spot beams with flat panel antennas for specialist suppliers such as Radio Holland


anasonic Avionics is building a VSAT network based on a Ku-band fabric and new antenna technology developed by Kymeta Corp. It acquired ITC Global, which has an agreement to deliver VSAT services to Radio Holland, among others, last year. Panasonic also has a strategic partnership with yacht specialist OmniAccess. Panasonic has used Ku-band to deliver VSAT to the aerospace market, and according to ITC Global chief executive Joe Spytek, this expertise will be extended into maritime. To meet existing maritime VSAT demands, Panasonic has taken capacity on satellites including those operated by Intelsat, Eutelsat and Telesat. It is preparing to deliver high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity to shipping, cruise and offshore vessel markets. “We are putting together an enormous network that service providers can use for maritime VSAT,” he said. “Service providers will do the installations and provide value-adding services. We will provide the network access, and purpose-built remotes, and we will be adding more capabilities.” Panasonic already offers Ku-band and C-band to offshore vessels, cruise ships, drilling rigs and floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) ships. “We operate a lot of C-band and this will continue,” said Mr Spytek. “We contemplate investing in more C-band payloads as well as the Ku-band fabric. We will also bring extremely high throughput capacity for cruise ships and the offshore energy sector.” This will be achieved through its investment in capacity on high throughput satellites, such as its deal with SES to use capacity on future satellites SES-14 and SES-15. Panasonic also acquired capacity on Telesat’s Telstar 12 Vantage satellite to expand its mobile broadband services to the growing maritime markets in the Mediterranean and European waterways. Mr Spytek said Panasonic delivers value-adding services, including the Crew Live entertainment solution to ships and offshore vessels. “Our value-added services include the Panasonic weather application, a 4D model that is changing the way world weather information is collected and delivered,” he said. Panasonic has weather sensors on aircraft connected globally and could also connect weather sensors on ships to provide data to its 4D model, Mr Spytek said. Some clients want high bandwidths over satellite, which Panasonic needs to deliver through a dedicated service. “We can modify existing technology, such as web acceleration and compression to deliver up to 70 Mbps to accommodation barges, and this would be available to cruise ships,” he added. Current VSAT services use conventional antenna solutions, but from 2017, Panasonic could offer Kymeta antennas for vessels, workboats and commercial shipping.

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

VSAT WITH REMOTE IT NETWORK SUPPORT Radio Holland offers specific ship-to-shore satellite communication packages for the maritime market. The VSAT packages offer global or regional coverage, unlimited data and a guaranteed bandwidth, said Radio Holland connectivity operations manager Rob Verkuil. These packages are enhanced by a wide variety of value added services, which are bundled into a set of tools and services. “The tools consist of IT management and vessel operations services,” said Mr Verkuil. “These services provide fleet managers with greater ability to oversee operations, just as though their ships are part of a single digital network.” For example, managers can follow annual performance tests on bridge systems, such as voyage data recorders, or manage onboard maintenance or ecdis chart updates. They can also

use Radio Holland’s remote monitoring services, which are secure against cyber threats. “We are continuously developing our IT portfolio, including the onboard networks,” Mr Verkuil said. “All usage and changes on board the IT network are logged and we prevent intrusion or unwanted access to the network. Fleet-wide or individual rules can be applied to networks remotely.” Other IT solutions Radio Holland offers are advanced content and filetype filtering, connectivity for virtual private networks, and 3G data connections. The services part of the bundle consists of a media solution and crew package. “The media service is a specially designed set of digital solutions optimised to the maritime satellite environment to deliver news, information and entertainment,” Mr Verkuil explained. “ VSAT

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VH provides a VSAT maritime communications solution that incorporates C-band and Ku-band connectivity, the terminal hardware and multicast content. It uses band capacity on different satellites to deliver the mini-VSAT Broadband network. This is delivered to vessels over the rugged TracPhone V-IP series satellite antenna range. “Our hardware facilitates high data speeds, and includes below-deck units with built-in network management,” said KVH executive vice president for mobile broadband Brent Bruun. KVH uses a global private multiprotocol label switching (MPLS)

network to connect its teleports and aggregate satellite traffic. The combination of the TracPhone V-IP antennas and CommBox network manager below deck on a vessel, enables ship operators to utilise value added features, such as least cost routeing, connectionspecific firewall rules, web caching and compression. Other services include web content filtering, automated file transfers, email, and spam and virus filters. “With CommBox, fleet

or vessel IT directors can establish protocols for blocking websites, providing virus protection for all onboard internet usage, and managing individual crew member’s access to the internet,” said Mr Bruun. “Our global static IP feature provides customers with a global static IP address assigned to a computer system or router on the vessel. It secures this address by blocking any undefined inbound applications, ports or source addresses. Applications are put through deep-packet inspection before KVH allows access ‒ we also employ threat detection.” There is also the myKVH data management web portal that gives mini-VSAT Broadband subscribers the ability to manage onboard data usage, set usage alerts, and monitor vessel location and status. “This tool

is a key component for operators who want transparency in data usage, and the ability to take advantage of low cost, high data speeds on an open airtime plan,” said Mr Bruun. KVH provides a crew communications solution through its CrewLink service. This is a pre-paid turnkey communications package for crew phone calling and internet cafés, providing physical, or virtual, pre-paid cards that use an isolated crew network separate from operations. Its content service IP-MobileCast delivers news, sports and entertainment packages over the satellite network through multicasting. This involves sending up the content to the satellite in one burst and casting it across the fleet of vessels connected through KVH’s network. “It delivers gigabytes of content via the satellite network with no charge for transmission,” said Mr Bruun. “The ship operator only pays for the content package. The content is accessible and viewable by all seafarers on board via their personal devices or on the common-room computers and televisions.” Training programmes created by Videotel are also delivered via IP-MobileCast. VSAT

KVH supplies TracPhone antennas with its VSAT packages

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The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016



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OWNERS CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO HAVE A SHIP OFFLINE Delivering a VSAT solution across a fleet is highly complex and requires high levels of resources and technical expertise


he complexity of today’s onboard communications technology and networks is such that when deploying a VSAT system to any vessel, it is the equivalent of connecting a branch office to a corporate network. According to World-Link Communications president Asad Salameh it takes huge resource levels to secure and support the addition of a fleet of 50 vessels and 1,000 employees to a communications and IT network. It is vital to deliver the IT technical support to the fleet in a way that helps the shipowner or shipmanager to maintain their competitiveness. “Our understanding and ability to securely support such a global mobile network is our market differentiator,” Mr Salameh said. He added that service support has become a critical component. “Owners and managers can no longer afford to have a ship offline. The demand is for always-on connectivity in order to deliver the operational efficiencies required by the industry. World-Link’s ability to secure and support such network extensions on a customer-by-customer basis remains our forte.” Requirements and priorities continue to vary from customer to customer. Today’s shipowner or shipmanager is looking to ensure network security from cyber attacks and provide crew welfare services on board. This can be through internet access,

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

email for crew, and entertainment. They also want connectivity for real-time engine monitoring and delivering electronic charts to the vessels. World-Link’s ShipSat product plays a critical role as a hub or gateway for ship-shore communications. “ShipSat has become a platform where we are now introducing cloud technologies such as virtualisation and high availability to the vessel,” Mr Salameh explained. “The same platform continues to deliver crew welfare voice and data services.” ShipSat continues to evolve as more services are added. The latest application on this platform is Fleet File Manager, which enables users to distribute and broadcast files across a fleet to and from the office. For example, if a newsletter needs sending to a large number of vessels, the user sends it only once, while the system will broadcast it across the fleet. “Fleet File Manager will also maintain the status of the transfer and give reports on when this transfer has been completed on which vessels,” said Mr Salameh. “It provides the perfect network infrastructure for fleetwide file management that replaces the current file distribution by email.” World-Link acquired Telaccount Overseas from Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) a year ago. “During the past 12 months, we have

consolidated our billing platforms, improved our customer support team and capabilities, and developed exciting new value added services, including new network management tools, user real-time access to network information in addition to our introduction of ShipSat-X and a ShipSat-HA [high-availability models],” said Mr Salameh. “We have completed building a new data centre that connects our infrastructure directly to the Inmarsat network, allowing us the freedom to offer advanced security and networking services to our customers.” He expects demand for VSAT will continue to climb as shipowners require higher bandwidths for operations and crew welfare. “We will see ships connected as if they were land offices. We are seeing those connectivity levels already among leading shipowners, and the majority will catch up within the next three to four years. By then most vessels will have a 2MB link connectivity, or high capacity L-band broadband delivering 8-12GB a month. So we will continue to see demand increasing for the installation of higher bandwidth.” He continued: “There is great emphasis on efficient ship operation, fuel efficiency, voyage parameters and performance indicators. However, crew welfare remains important for operators who do not want to lose their best people.” VSAT

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BRINGING TOGETHER MULTIBAND SOLUTIONS Marlink has united its global maritime VSAT offering under its well-established Sealink brand. It covers multiband services delivered over C-band, Ku-band, and the new Ka-band, and those transmitted on high throughput satellites. This mix of multiband satellite communications services is enabled through its global network of teleports, service providers and a strong collaboration with all major satellite network operators. The Norwegian company continues to build on its extensive value added services portfolio for use in parallel with Sealink services, said Marlink maritime president Tore Morten Olsen. These include a range of solutions designed to provide effective communications and IT management, and deliver critical business and vessel operational support. “From universal pre-paid solutions for crew communications to sophisticated online portals for service management, Marlink’s value added services are designed to help users get the most from Sealink,”

XChange is Marlink’s integrated service delivery platform

said Mr Olsen. At the heart of Marlink’s portfolio is the XChange integrated service delivery platform, which has been installed aboard thousands of vessels. “XChange provides seamless wired or WiFi access to high quality voice, voice over IP, and data on VSAT and mobile satellite service connectivity.” It can also be linked to hybrid solutions by connecting additional carriers such as mobile 3G and 4G cellular networks, and WiFi networks to optimise connectivity and cost efficiency. “XChange boasts a wide feature-set including easy administration of users, compression, caching, security and antivirus. With a built-in firewall, XChange is an effective security tool, especially when used in combination with other solutions such as Sky-File Anti Virus.” Marlink continues to invest heavily in developing solutions that leverage the power of XChange. Developments include XChange bring-your-own-device (BYOD), a ready-to-use WiFi solution and apps to provide voice and data access using private smartphones, tablets and laptops. “XChange BYOD answers significant calls from maritime professionals to access the internet via WiFi using their own devices,” Mr Olsen explained. XChange Universal Remote Access (URA) meets the growing need from shipowners, communications equipment manufacturers, satellite communications service providers and maritime service companies to easily access onboard IT networks from shore for maintenance and troubleshooting. “XChange URA is a universal, single tool to control any device on board. It supports all protocol formats and is completely carrier independent,” he added. The most recent addition to the platform is XChange Media. Compatible with all major smart devices and communal televisions via a set-top box, XChange Media delivers daily news and sport bulletins for crew. “Simple to activate and fully manageable from shore, this crew entertainment service can be delivered at no extra airtime cost and without any impact on VSAT allowance or speed,” Mr Olsen said.


Globecomm Systems has developed its VSAT services specifically for maritime and offshore users using the iDirect Evolution IP-based platform. Globecomm director of project management Martin Killian said Evolution supports automatic beam switching and access to the latest high throughput satellite services. “Our service supports a broad range of applications over a robust, flexible and scalable end-to-end managed network, designed specifically to deliver shared services and private networks to customers in maritime and energy markets,” he said. The Globecomm VSAT service was developed to meet

the demand from maritime customers for a global solution from a provider that already serves 4,000 vessels, including 600 VSAT-equipped vessels. “It has been designed to be powerful but simple to implement, meaning that new and existing customers can quickly begin to experience the benefits that high-throughput connectivity can deliver,” said Mr Killian. “The connectivity the network provides is used for every conceivable application from voice calling and video chat to operational and safety data. In addition to supporting greater operational efficiency, VSAT is critical to providing improved levels of internet access to

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both crew and passengers.” Ship operators can have two dedicated voice lines with the VSAT for crew and operational calls. But the main reason for VSAT is the internet access it enables. The iDirect Evolution platform has built-in acceleration for web traffic to improve the experience for users. Globecomm also provides WiFi access points so crew can use their own mobile devices for communications and online access, and offers firewalls and content filtering, advanced email management, a pre-paid crew management portal, proactive network monitoring and global support.

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016


REVAMPING SERVICES FOR MARITIME FLEETS SpeedCast has revamped its value added services for maritime markets after conducting a holistic study into the VSAT sector, asking shipping companies and seafarers what they required from VSAT and broadband connectivity. SpeedCast maritime product director Dan Rooney said the results of the study led to the company modifying its SeaCast product line for current and future maritime requirements. “We discovered that many VSAT providers' additional services are not viewed as relevant by the maritime sector. A product that works in offshore can be irrelevant to bulker fleets,” said Mr Rooney. This led to the introduction of the SeaCast Sigma flexible communications management platform. “It is a scalable solution that fits anything from a small fishing vessel through to the largest tanker,” he added. SeaCast Sigma can be used to manage SpeedCast VSAT, L-band and cellular communications. “For management of crew-browsing SeaCast Sigma is extremely flexible and can generate hotel-style internet access vouchers for crew members, on a time or data limited

DAN ROONEY (SpeedCast): “A product that works in offshore can be irrelevant to bulker fleets”

basis,” Mr Rooney explained. SpeedCast also has the SpeedStar optimisation device for wide area networks, providing acceleration, compression and caching techniques for VSAT links. “This includes optimisation of browsing, increasing the user experience on board,” he continued. “SpeedStar provides the IT manager with an overview of network activity on board via its advanced reporting abilities. This is especially useful for onboard network monitoring.” Another application SpeedCast has introduced is SpeedTalk, for pre-paid and post-paid voice communications. Mr Rooney said this was available over telephone links, or on mobile devices with an Android or Apple operating system. “Business calling to and from a vessel is optimised through geographic numbers and full post-paid reporting is available to IT managers,” he said. SpeedCast also offers web filtering for both business and crew networks via an access control list, or content-based filtering, controlled by the IT manager on shore. SpeedCast said its airtime and services are delivered to more than 7,000 vessels.

ACCESS PORTAL PRIORITISES SAFETY-CRITICAL DATA BlueTide Communications has developed bandwidth monitoring and control features for its VSAT offering to vessels. It has introduced a proprietary application engineered to allow customers to easily manage their onboard wireless networks, either remotely or on their vessels. This is an access management portal (AMP) for Apple operating systems on mobile devices. “AMP enables its users to block and re-authorise devices instantly ‒ delivering realtime control of how bandwidth is being used, how much, when and by whom,” said BlueTide managing director Emil Regard. AMP reduces the cost of bandwidth by ensuring the right amount is assigned at the right time. The ability to easily control,

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

prioritise and manage how the bandwidth is used has become vital to vessel operators. “Bandwidth has become a critical operational component, but many times this resource is misunderstood or managed inefficiently,” said Mr Regard. “With AMP, captains can measure and control this critical resource in real time. In many cases, this approach to maximise network performance removes the need for increased bandwidth or an upgrade to larger equipment thereby saving vessel operators’ money.” The safety and security benefits of AMP were recognised by one of BlueTide’s customers during a recent incident on a vessel with more than 20 crew on board. “The application proved itself in the conference

suite of the marine transportation company,” said Mr Regard. “Data was immediately needed from the vessel. However, the internet was crawling due to high crew usage, therefore inhibiting the transmission of required documents. With the use of AMP, non-essential devices were instantly blocked to allow necessary emails and supporting documents to be sent by the officers of the vessel to corporate headquarters.” AMP allows users to monitor bandwidth by user devices, easily view, block and re-authorise users, and pre-programme multiple classes of service. It can also be used for controlling guest and session expiration policies, and setting dedicated bandwidth for user groups and networks. VSAT

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Delivering a full range of

VSAT solutions VSAT providers combine global satellite coverage with terrestrial infrastructure and suites of value-adding services


ingtel Satellite is a leading provider of one-stop satellite communications and IT solutions in Asia. It is developing innovations to meet voice and digital challenges in fixed and mobile satellite segments at sea. “We engage the key needs of maritime customers with broadband satellite communications and ICT applications in cyber security, crew welfare, operational efficiency, and monitoring and control,” said Singtel associate director of satellite products Adam Seetoh. “We are bridging mission critical communication gaps between ship and shore.” Singtel offers global coverage and versatility across platforms through its satellites, ground station infrastructure, fibre optics network and IP services. It operates three satellites and three teleports that point to more than 30 satellites. For IP services it provides virtual private network infrastructure and an extensive terrestrial network of more than 200 points-of-presence in 160 cities worldwide. “Our coverage extends to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia,” said Mr See-toh. “International regulations, economic uncertainties, and social and technological trends are some of the driving forces to data revolution in the maritime landscape,” he added. “To meet these changing needs, Singtel offers innovative and compelling ICT solutions to improve operational efficiencies, manage business costs and achieve better crew welfare.” Singtel’s business ICT solutions include mobile video surveillance, secure ecdis updating, managed security, and the All-in-one (AIO) Smartbox solution. This is linked to crew welfare solutions such as AIO Connect for voice and data services, the CrewXchange Portal and Fleet Media. EMC brings together robust global satellite, terrestrial infrastructure and a cellular broadband platform. It operates 21 fully-meshed multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) interconnected teleports in the USA, Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. Of these, EMC owns and operates the teleports in Rasiting, Germany, Holmdel in the US, and Kapolei in Hawaii. For maritime VSAT, EMC uses this global infrastructure, patented

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technologies, local field support centres and a global hybrid network to provide global coverage with reliable Ku-bandwidth and seamless beam handovers. EMC chief commercial officer John Finney said the newest patented technology, SpeedNet, heightens customer experience on ships. “This is a breakthrough solution to the satellite industry's oldest problem – latency,” he said. “It uses a proprietary intelligent protocol and global backbone. SpeedNet predictively fetches, compresses and pushes multiple layers of websites at once to local servers. The net result for the end-user is a browsing experience that mimics high-speed fibre.” EMC has the Shiptracker multifunction web portal that provides a real-time traffic map with vessel positioning, capacity and quality of service (QoS) monitoring. It can set up onboard WiFi with remote hot spots and secure access codes for internet or internal network access. It can arrange voice over IP services and mobile connectivity. “This enables crew members to use their own mobile phones for inbound and outbound calling and texting over EMC’s mobile network without the high costs and complication of international mobile services,” said Mr Finney. EMC also has live television and high-definition video conferencing solutions. Navarino provides value added services to VSAT through its Infinity IT and communications platform. This will be available on Fleet Xpress (FX) as Navarino is a distribution partner for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress platform. Infinity can also be used with wireless and 3G mobile communications networks. It enables vessel operators to remotely manage connectivity of their crews and maintain software over onboard IT networks. The hub also facilitates the downloading of applications, such as training software, weather forecasts or passage planning software. NSSLGlobal has separated its maritime broadband offering into two segments to meet different demands from various vessel users. For commercial shipping requiring extensive Ku-band and C-band it has the VSAT IP@Sea service. This delivers always-on connectivity with 25 beams on 16 satellites, and uses seven teleports worldwide. Its CruiseIP service is tailored for the superyacht market. It offers a range of shared and dedicated packages with high throughput coverage over the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Seychelles, Maldives, Australia, New Zealand and Florida. The Cruise-IP service is available using Cobham Satcom’s Sailor 900 antenna. NSSLGlobal recently developed an email management system and online portal for vessels. The Cruise Control portal and onboard unit allows managers to restrict the access to onboard satellite communications, online and email traffic. It provides a seamless and secure email connection between a vessel and land-based subscribers.

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016


NSSLGlobal also provides assisted beam switching services, web filtering, firewalls and crew calling cards. Network Innovations is one of a few VSAT providers to have successfully gained commercial orders for Ka-band services. It worked with Global Marine Networks and Inmarsat to trial FX aboard adventure cruise ship Ocean Nova in Antarctic waters. It subsequently gained a commercial order from vessel operator Nova Cruising. The 1992-built, ice class cruise ship received FX services, even at high latitudes, via a Sailor 100GX antenna. Sweden-based Sea IT has gained a host of contracts to upgrade IT and communications systems on tankers for Maersk Tankers, Donsötank, Ektank, and Veritas Tankers. Each of these orders involves deployment of Sea IT’s BlueCore connectivity platform that enables owners to connect their vessels to onshore IT networks. For Donsötank, Ektank and Veritas Tankers, the arrangement also includes the BlueConnect satellite communications service, including maintenance of the onboard IT and communications systems. BlueConnect can be used for business communications, including email, file transfers and security. The service also manages satellite communications beam switching, crew log-ins, firewalls and spam management. BlueCore enables shipowners to regard their vessels as remote offices, with real-time and online access to applications. It enables a seamless integration of communications between the crew and shore bases. It can provide access to operational and technical applications for managing ship chartering, health and safety, and crew management. BlueCore links with third-party programs for fuel consumption and sea chart updates. Orange Business Services’ Maritime Connect delivers VSAT connectivity to Orange’s own global multiprotocol label switching IP

virtual network. This allows owners to integrate their ships into their corporate networks. Maritime Connect is an integrated solutions platform, which enables owners to fulfil essential navigational, safety and compliance requirements. Critical vessel IT network management tasks can be performed from shore, without the need to send specialists out to ships. Crew can use additional voice and data transmission capacity, which is separated from operational bandwidth. Maritime Connect delivers voice over IP, data and internet access for crew. It also allows IT managers and captains to manage these services on board vessels or remotely from shore. Orange can deliver enterprise applications via the corporate network, such as route planning, cost control, tracking and monitoring of ships and cargo, and telemedicine for remote care. Maritime Connect is available in three tiered versions. The basic version provides onboard access to essential communications services like IP routing, link switching, and server hosting for applications. The middle-range unit adds licences for increased security, wide area network optimisation and user accounting, while the premium version provides connectivity with onboard WiFi and 3G networks for nearshore operations. Telemar’s SeaCall VSAT provides Ku-band coverage along all major shipping routes with 60cm or 1m antennas. Telemar has flexible bandwidth packages of 0.5 up to 8 Mbps shore-to-ship, and volume allowances ranging from 45GB to 450GB per month. The SeaCall Duetto configuration integrates VSAT with L-band back-up. This is controlled by Telemar Office Connect, a set of hardware and software for security, VSAT configuration and internet usage control. It enables voice over IP, internet access, email, and virtual private networks. VSAT


Disruptive space technologies


Artist's impression of a Mission Extension Vehicle linking up with a satellite (credit: Orbital ATK)


rbital ATK’s new satellite life extension service has the ability to disrupt the communications satellite market by reducing the need for launching new satellites. The US-based company is developing an in-orbit satellite servicing unit – the Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) to maintain existing satellites. The commercial satellite servicing vehicle is scheduled to be launched in the second half of 2018 and begin in-orbit testing in the first quarter of 2019. MEV-1 will have a 15-year lifespan to extend the life of a constellation of existing satellites by taking over the propulsion and attitude control functions. It will be controlled remotely by an operations team and will dock with client satellites using a low-risk docking module. Intelsat is the first satellite operator to become a client of Orbital ATK’s MEV-1. The vehicle will initially be docked with one Intelsat satellite to provide propulsion and attitude fixing

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services for five years. Intelsat will have the option to service multiple satellites using the same MEV. It is not known how many satellite launches this would save for Intelsat. Orbital ATK’s vision is to launch a fleet of vehicles to service fully functional but ageing satellites, and to conduct repairs and assembly work. The company is working with the US Government to develop additional space logistics technologies, such as robotics and high-power, solar-electric propulsion. David Thompson, Orbital ATK’s president and chief executive said the agreement with Intelsat would open new opportunities for other MEVs in commercial satellite servicing. He added: “There is a vital need to service fully-functional but ageing satellites in both commercial and government markets. We are just getting started in expanding our commercial service vehicle fleet to provide a diverse array of in-space services in the future.” Intelsat chief executive Stephen Spengler said the deployment of MEV-1 would be a ground-breaking achievement using gamechanging innovation as it would be docking with a satellite 22,000 miles above the Earth. “Given the size of our satellite fleet, any technology that enhances our in-orbit flexibility allows us to be more responsive to our customers,” he explained, “such as extending the life of a healthy satellite so that it can be deployed for a latebreaking opportunity at another orbital location, or maintaining service continuity before the arrival of new technology.” He added: “I am already looking forward to the in-orbit servicing possibilities that future robotic technologies will enable.” Orbital ATK’s technology would help maritime VSAT by enabling satellite operators to deploy healthy, older satellites to provide additional Ku-band coverage in busy shipping areas. Another technical achievement that could change the costs of satellite launches was SpaceX’s landing of the Falcon 9 rocket on land and at sea. In April, SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket on droneship Of Course I Still Love You, in the Atlantic Ocean. The second stage of the rocket went on to launch the Dragon spacecraft to low Earth orbit to deliver critical cargo to the International Space Station. This followed a successful rocket landing onshore in December 2015, after launching Orbcomm’s second generation ship-tracking satellites. This innovation will help SpaceX reduce the costs of commercial space operations by utilising reusable components. SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk said it cost around US$300,000 to refuel a rocket, but US$60 million to build one, making it far less expensive if the first stage of the rockets could be reused. It would be even cheaper if new satellites were not needed in the first place because the life of existing ones could be extended. VSAT

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016

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The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016  

With topical discussions focusing on ECDIS, bridge systems, and VSAT on board modern ships, and the uptake of fleet management software, ves...

The Complete Guide to VSAT 2016  

With topical discussions focusing on ECDIS, bridge systems, and VSAT on board modern ships, and the uptake of fleet management software, ves...