Keeping in Touch

How do you keep in touch when you are operating a 24m survey vessel in the North Sea but most of your scientific analysis is carried out from multiple bases in the UK

This was the issue highlighted when CMS-Geotech approached, Suffolk based, Navidatum Limited with a desire to transmit survey data back to shore whilst out of the range of GSM (cellular / mobile) coverage. The cost of Fleet Broadband was considered to be unsuitable for the task and a low-cost, low-bandwidth remedy was needed that avoided the need to sail closer to the shore to establish communications.

CMS-Geotech’s 24m survey vessel the MV Flatholm provides specialist geotechnical seabed sampling services and marine geotechnical surveys & support to the marine industry. Working with and supporting both end client & survey companies operating in the oil & gas market, offshore energy, civil engineers, aggregates & marine mineral mining as well as ports & harbour maintenance and development.

Navidatum supplied a satellite terminal running their SemaphoreM2M service allowing the transmission of daily survey logs in compressed format to the office of CMS Geotech’s Managing Director, Dr David Hitchcock in near real-time.

Dr Hitchcock commented “the use of the service has enhanced efficiency in the deployment of the MV Flatholm with not only the ability to transfer survey data but to send and receive messages from any PC to the MV Flatholm, from the need for supplies to be readied in port to sending sailing instructions to the captain for amended deployment”

The SemaphoreM2M service also provides a web portal to assist in managing the service and provide visibility of latest reported position.

With the hardware supplied for under £1,000 and monthly airtime at about the price of a mobile-phone contract the SemaphoreM2M service provides low-bandwidth messaging at affordable prices in a fiercely competitive marine environment.

Flatholm Screen grab