NSSLGlobal Ensures Connectivity on Board Research Vessel ‘RSS Discovery’ (UK)


Global satellite communications provider NSSLGlobal ensures that maritime customers receive solutions that cater for all their needs.  As the needs of a vessel and its crew grow, NSSLGlobal is showing that it can provide communications solutions which not only offer the reliability and consistency to match customers’ commercial requirements, but that also cater for the personal use of the crew. The RSS Discovery has been fitted with NSSLGlobal’s Cruise-IP VSAT service and a FleetBroadband system; ensuring connectivity wherever the vessel travels.

The RSS Discovery is supported by the National Marine Facilities (NMF) Sea Systems branch, based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS). The NOCS is the national focus for oceanography in the UK, with a remit to achieve scientific excellence in its own right as one of the world’s top five oceanography research institutions. NOCS’s mission is a diverse one, ranging from managing the national research vessel fleet and other major facilities, to programmes of strategic research for the Natural Environment Research Council, and academic research and education in ocean and earth sciences in support of the University of Southampton’s mission.

The RSS Discovery is a research vessel, based primarily in the Atlantic Ocean, and, whilst the vessel’s communications needs are structured around the ship’s work, in modern society the need for wider access to the internet, and other lines of communication is an integral factor in deciding the appropriate solution for a vessel; and, as  seen across land and maritime sectors, the need for reliable broadband connectivity is ever increasing.

The ship employs the “all you can eat” Cruise-IP service, providing broadband coverage via NSSLGlobal’s DVBS2-RCS network for a fixed monthly fee, across one of the most comprehensive KU-Band coverage footprints in the world. Alongside the Cruise-IP system, the RSS Discovery also employs a FleetBroadband FB500 terminal as part of NSSLGlobal’s Service Assurance capability, providing seamless operation should the vessel travel outside the KU-Band footprint.

Antonio Gatti, the Master on board the RSS Discovery, comments: “The connection is fantastic for our business needs; we now have fundamental business tools, such as live emails and constant connection to the on-shore office, which have made the business processes of the ship much faster and smoother, as well as the ability to engage in the ship’s scientific mission as it happens; as the broadband connection allows us to monitor equipment and respond to it in real time. We also provide the connection to all the cabins, allowing the crew personal connections; – the ability for crew members to access the news, communicate with family and, of course, check the football scores has made a genuine difference to crew members and greatly improved the quality of life on-board the vessel.”

Sally-Anne Ray, Comercial Director at NSSLGlobal, says: “At NSSLGlobal it is our aim to provide communications solutions which give the customer an assured service that is completely suited to their requirements. As people rely more than ever on the communications links they have in the office or at home, it is important that we are able to provide these links to those whose workplaces are less accessible, without sacrificing the quality of service we are able to deliver. The RSS Discovery is a great example of NSSLGlobal’s ability to provide a quality assured service that caters for more than the basic needs of the customer; the combination of Cruise-IP and FleetBroadband gives the best possible coverage guarantee, and the flexibility of the package means that the customer is able to offer their crew a service which will help to bridge the gap between home and the workplace when they are on board.”

Source:  NSSLGlobal , July 01, 2011;