Inmarsat Joins Autonomous Ship Project

Global satellite communications provider Inmarsat has joined the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA) recently launched by Rolls-Royce.

The project, funded by Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation), will bring industry partners together with universities, research institutes, ship owners and other stakeholders to explore the economic, social, legal, regulatory and technological factors which need to be addressed in order to make autonomous ships a reality.

Inmarsat’s role in the project is to provide the satellite communications link and platform. The Fleet Xpress service, delivered through the Global Xpress and L-band constellations, the world’s first hybrid Ka/L-band mobile satellite system, forms the basis of the system.

“The launch of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress mobile broadband network, which forms the heart of the new Fleet Xpress service, is a real turning point for the future of the maritime industry and ideally lends itself to the AAWA Initiative,” said Ronald Spithout, President Inmarsat Maritime.

“Fleet Xpress will enable the ship-to-shore communications required to support the remote control functionality fundamental to the realisation of the autonomous ship. The high-performance, high-throughput network will open up unlimited possibilities for maritime applications and real-time monitoring and analysis of data, for smarter shipping today and the future.”

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