World Premiere: CLS Installs the First Iridium-Based Compliant LRIT Terminals Onboard French-Flag Ships

Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS) announces it has sold its first Iridium-based compliant Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) terminals in partnership with Iridium Satellite LLC. CLS is a major provider of satellite-based environmental data collection, location and ocean observation services. Through the CLS-Iridium partnership, CLS also delivered corresponding LRIT Conformance Test Certificates on behalf of the flag administration.

The new SOLAS LRIT regulation requiring LRIT capabilities went into force December 31, 2008, and applies to all passenger and cargo ships above 300 gross tons. For months, shipowners worldwide have been testing their onboard equipment for compliance with IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1296. In many cases, shipowners opted for a standalone LRIT device to ensure their compliance. In particular, ships navigating in Sea Area A4 having to comply with the LRIT regulation must be fitted with Iridium-based equipment, as Iridium is the only operator in the world able to reliably provide service at such latitudes.

Iridium meets all IMO requirements for serving as a Communications Service Provider (CSP) for LRIT. Iridium provides a commercial low-latency, highly reliable transmission mechanism for LRIT data everywhere in the world. Iridium’s global service coverage includes open oceans and the poles. As such, it offers particular advantages when tracking ships operating in high latitudes above 70 degrees. In those geographic areas, Iridium is the only CSP able to reliably satisfy the requirements of the LRIT performance standard. The Iridium short-burst data (SBD) service is well suited to the requirements of LRIT and forms the basis of Iridium’s LRIT standard.

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) recently awarded CLS the contract for the provision and operation of the EU LRIT Data Centre (DC), as well as the associated Application Service Provider (ASP) and CSP functions. The EMSA LRIT DC 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.

CLS has also been appointed by many other administrations to provide dedicated LRIT DC, ASP and testing ASP services.

“As one of the major ASPs, it is important for CLS to work with partners to offer compliant and reliable solutions,” said Gaëtan Fabritius, LRIT Sales Manager of CLS. “Iridium Satellite is one of these partners, offering us easy-to-use, cost-effective and reliable CSP services, as well as compliant LRIT devices. We are very pleased to have developed this partnership with Iridium for LRIT purposes, not only to serve regions where no other communications services exist, but also to provide reliable, critical information to and from ships at sea in compliance with the new regulations.”

The Iridium-based Thorium LRIT unit is promoted by CLS through its worldwide distribution network. For more information, go to

“The deployment of Iridium-based LRIT services marks another major milestone in extending our range of maritime regulatory safety services,” said Wouter Deknopper, Director EMEA Markets, Iridium. “We are very pleased with the broad take-up of the Thorium LRIT device by French-flag vessels, and look forward to offering LRIT services to many other flags in the coming months.”

About CLS
CLS, Collecte Localisation Satellites, is a subsidiary of the French Space Agency CNES, and of Ifremer. CLS is a key player in the global monitoring of environment and maritime traffic and has demonstrated unrivaled 20 years’ expertise in Vessel Monitoring Systems and in the delivery of Data Centres to governments around the world. Today CLS is the LRIT partner of EMSA in Europe and of other maritime administrations worldwide, as Data Center, ASP and testing ASP services provider. For more information, go to and

About Iridium
Iridium Satellite LLC ( is the only mobile satellite service (MSS) company offering pole-to-pole coverage over the entire globe. The Iridium constellation of low-earth orbiting (LEO), cross-linked satellites provides critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication networks. Iridium’s subscriber growth has been driven by increasing demand for reliable, secure, global communications. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of hundreds of distributors, and provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense, and other U.S. and international government agencies. The company’s customers represent a broad spectrum of industry, including maritime, aeronautical, government/defense, public safety, utilities, oil/gas, mining, forestry, heavy equipment and transportation. Iridium has launched a major development program for its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT, which will result in continued and new Iridium MSS offerings. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md. and is currently privately held.