Fulcrum Maritime Systems Offers Iridium-Based Long-Range Identification and Tracking Systems

Fulcrum Maritime Systems Ltd. and Iridium Satellite LLC (Iridium) announce today that Fulcrum is now offering Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) services through the Iridium satellite network.

Fulcrum operates the LRIT national data centers and acts as the recognized LRIT Application Service Provider (ASP) for several major maritime flag states, including the Bahamas and Japan. In addition, 46 flag states have also appointed Fulcrum as the authorized testing authority to type approve shipboard LRIT devices for ships under their registry.

“Fulcrum can now offer shipowners a cost-effective global solution to meet the international LRIT carriage requirements leveraging Iridium’s ubiquitous pole-to-pole coverage, low-latency, two-way data links, and high network reliability,” said Paul Devlin, spokesman for Fulcrum. “Importantly, Iridium is the only LRIT Communication Service Provider that covers the Polar Regions of Sea Area A4, which means that ships operating above 70 degrees latitude can only satisfy the LRIT requirement through Iridium.”

“Fulcrum’s unified LRIT message protocol also allows a seamless transition of Iridium-certified LRIT tracking devices between ASPs, thereby ensuring that when a ship changes flags, the Iridium device will continue to operate without any additional cost to the shipowner,” Devlin added.

“Iridium short-burst data is proving to be an ideal medium for LRIT reporting from ships at sea,” said Greg Ewert, executive vice president, Global Distribution Channels, Iridium. “Iridium-based state-of-the-art, stand-alone LRIT tracking systems – unlike multi-use legacy systems already installed on ships – are not adversely affected by interference from other data transmissions or signal blockage from the ship’s superstructure or other nearby obstructions when performing installation and commissioning tests in port.”

Iridium reports that three Value-Added Manufacturers – Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), EMA and Faria WatchDog® – have so far successfully tested and certified their LRIT products for operation on the Iridium satellite network.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) LRIT carriage requirements came into force Jan. 1, 2009 for ships operating in all Sea Areas except A4. The deadline for ships in Sea Area A4 is July 1, 2009. All ships subject to the LRIT regulations must comply by the date of their first radio survey after these deadlines. Ships certified for service in Sea Area A4 must comply by the earlier date when they are operating in other Sea Areas. The carriage requirements apply to the following types of ships engaged in international voyages: passenger ships including high-speed passenger craft, cargo ships including high-speed craft of 300 gross tonnage and upward, and mobile offshore drilling units.