Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS) and Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) announced that the U.S. Coast Guard has type-approved the CLS Thorium terminal for Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT). The type approval clears the way for CLS America, a subsidiary of CLS, to equip ships sailing under the U.S. flag to comply with the international LRIT carriage requirements.
Pole Star, the U.S. LRIT Application Service Provider (ASP), conducted the conformance tests on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure the Thorium product meets the international performance standards for LRIT.
“Iridium’s global service coverage includes all ocean areas, including the north and south Polar Regions,” said Greg Ewert, executive vice president, global distribution channels, Iridium. “As the only LRIT Communications Service Provider (CSP) capable of satisfying the LRIT requirements for ships operating above 70 degrees north or below 70 degrees south latitude, Iridium-based terminals, such as the Thorium, provide reliable, critical information to and from ships at sea in compliance with LRIT regulations. Iridium provides global, low-latency, highly reliable short-burst data links, which are ideal for LRIT reporting.”
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) recently awarded CLS a contract for the provision and operation of the European Union (EU) LRIT Data Centre, as well as the associated ASP and CSP functions. The EMSA LRIT Data Centre – the largest in the world – will not only enable the 27 EU Maritime Administrations, and those of Iceland and Norway, to track more than 10,000 vessels flying their flags, but will also request position reports of non-EU flag vessels entering EU coastal waters.
The CLS Thorium unit has already been type approved in Europe, and many other administrations such as Chile, Panama and Vanuatu have this unit installed on their flag ships. All major ASPs have certified the unit as LRIT compliant when delivering a Conformance Test Report according to the International Maritime Organization rules.