CSM trials Musk’s Starlink services on its vessels

Ship management and maritime service provider Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM) has revealed it is conducting a trial of the new Starlink satellite internet service on a number of vessels. 

Columbia Shipmanagement

The Starlink service, provided by a constellation of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites operated by SpaceX, is designed to deliver high-speed internet connectivity to ships and vessels across all sectors of the maritime industry.

“We are delighted to be trialing this technology to keep our ships better connected. Starlink has the potential to revolutionise the maritime industry by providing reliable and affordable internet connectivity to ships, even in the most remote parts of the world. This can help improve crew welfare, reduce costs, and enhance safety and security, making it a game-changer for the industry,” Columbia Group CEO, Mark O’Neil said.

Starlink is expected to help cruise companies reduce costs associated with traditional satellite internet services, and provide better connection services for crew members.

It can also enhance safety and security by offering reliable connectivity in remote areas, enabling better communication with stakeholders, emergency services and authorities, as well as enabling real time data exchange and communication, according to the firm.

CSM is widely exploring Starlink in conjunction with a SD WAN (Software defined wide area network) in order to combine proven satellite internet technology as well as cellular 5G near shore connectivity into a unified communication package.

Real-time data exchange is important so that a vessel can become a connected EDGE endpoint integrated into the owners or ship managers operations.

The company stressed that ships are not anymore, the remote, disconnected endpoint that may or may not be able to send and receive data. Starlink can facilitate remote monitoring of vessel performance and maintenance needs, allowing for proactive maintenance scheduling and reducing the risk of unplanned downtime.

This can help improve vessel availability and reliability, as well as reduce costs associated with maintenance and repairs.

CSM has also recently decided to use Emissions and Engine Health Monitoring System to identify issues and failures, monitor vessel KPIs, and data analytics to continuously improve the vessel’s engine room performance.

The company has also highlighted the role of engine health monitoring systems and assessing the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) in a timely manner in order for shipowners to reduce carbon emissions.

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