Supported by European Space Agency (ESA) funding, Inmarsat’s forthcoming Maritime Safety Data Service (MSDS) for FleetBroadband, delivers an increased data capability over the Inmarsat-4 network, including the Alphasat satellite, providing global coverage and the same reliability of over 99.9 per cent associated with the Inmarsat network.
MSDS will continue to offer distress alerting, priority messaging and SafetyNET safety information broadcasts, but also deliver greater data capability than is currently available with Inmarsat C safety services.
Other additional features include:
*Ability to co-ordinate rescue operations by email as well as voice calls
*Distress chat - an instantaneous chatroom function between multiple vessels and maritime rescue coordination centres
*A new-style maritime safety terminal (MST) developed by Cobham SATCOM
*All data accessed over MSDS to be captured and stored at new servers.
Peter Blackhurst, Head of Maritime Safety Services at Inmarsat states, "Inmarsat has set the standard for maritime safety since its inception in 1979 and we remain the only satellite operator to gain International Maritime Organization (IMO) compliance with our legacy Inmarsat C and Fleet 77 safety services.
"The introduction of new data safety services over FleetBroadband has been one of our long term goals and the new system, together with Voice Distress, will ensure that we can continue to enhance safety communications and help save lives at sea not only for now but long into the future.
"We are currently working closely with the IMO to bring our new service to market with the aim of eventually gaining SOLAS approval for both FleetBroadband data and voice Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) services."
"The satellite business doesn't stand still. Developments are going to continue to enhance capabilities month on month, let alone year on year, so we should expect further enriched safety services in the future," Peter added.
"Everything comes to its life's end and while the Inmarsat C service is still very competent and it will continue well into the 2020s and beyond, despite being over 20 years old, we would ultimately like to see MSDS accepted as the natural successor to deliver SafetyNET."
The launch date for MSDS is subject to the IMO approval process for SOLAS ships but it is anticipated that non-SOLAS versions will be available well in advance, with a prototype expected in 2014 and a ready-to-market terminal planned for Q2 2015.
Please visit Inmarsat’s Maritime safety page for further information: http://www.inmarsat.com/service/maritime-safety/