Photo: LR/Inmarsat

LR, Inmarsat join forces to simplify remote ship surveys

The UK-based classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) and compatriot satellite communications provider Inmarsat have partnered up to provide a connectivity solution that will address challenges experienced during remote surveys.

As informed, the new solution uses LR Remote, a specifically engineered application for remote inspection that enables crew members to livestream video, photos and audio from on board a ship to an LR technical specialist located elsewhere.

The combination of LR Remote and Fleet Connect means remote ship surveys take place in real time, reducing the impact of unexpected situations. Photo: LR/Inmarsat

It will be empowered by Inmarsat’s Certified Application Provider (CAP) dedicated bandwidth service called Fleet Connect that provides an uninterrupted dedicated satellite link between vessels and seafarers, offering users function-specific bandwidth that is independent of business-critical vessel operations or crew communications.

With no additional communication hardware required to run this application, the separation allows LR Remote to be enabled remotely without any intervention on-site.

Fleet Connect provides dedicated bandwidth which is said to be secure and reliable, meaning it can increase the potential of remote surveys on vessels where connectivity restraints have previously limited its use.

This approach provides flexibility and 24/7 availability which enables surveyors to perform surveys efficiently using a blend of techniques, reducing the impact of unexpected situations on vessel operations, where surveyors and crew can quickly navigate problems using remote technology, according to the duo.

The new solution has been described as another step towards digital class, opening opportunities for future uses of vessel data in demonstrating compliance and driving deeper insight into vessel efficiency and fleet optimisation. The solution is currently being piloted by LR and Inmarsat with clients specialising in gas carriers and bulker carriers.

“Connectivity is a significant enabler in the digitalisation of the maritime industry. Both Lloyd’s Register and Inmarsat have a mutual goal of unlocking the true potential of technology, thereby transforming remote compliance and enabling digital class,” Mark Darley, LR Marine and Offshore Director, commented.

“Inmarsat is delighted to work with Lloyd’s Register on this first-of-its-kind solution, which addresses a specific industry challenge,” Alberto Perez, Director, Strategy and Business Development, Inmarsat Maritime, said.

LR Remote in use, livestreaming images during a survey. Photo: LR/Inmarsat

LR claims that one in three the 30,000+ surveys the classification society performs each year is completed remotely.

This collaboration between LR and Inmarsat follows increased uptake in remote services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as access to ships and assets became more challenging.

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Last year, classification societies started reporting a surge in remote inspections despite the fact that the industry has been relatively slow in the adoption of new digital technologies.