A new research project called MARIOT (Maritime IoT) is going to develop a low Earth orbit satellite network based on the new VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) technology. The network will be the first of its kind and establish a stable, low-cost data connection for maritime safety and navigation services. The consortium behind the project is headed by the Danish satellite operator Sternula. The satcom developers GateHouse, Space Inventor, and Satlab as well as Aalborg University, and the Danish Meteorological Institute also participate in the project which will initially focus on the need for improved communication and navigation services in the Arctic Ocean.
– Today, the satellite communication networks used by ships in high-latitude seas are often expensive, inept for small amounts of data, and, in some cases, do not even cover seas in remote regions. This is an issue―especially in the Arctic Ocean―where optimized navigation services can significantly reduce the length of shipping routes, e.g. by placing routes closer to the Arctic, says Business Development Manager at GateHouse, Per Koch.
VDES technology is the second generation of the Automatic Identification System (AIS). Today, the AIS standard is used to monitor marine traffic by more than 200,000 ships. However, AIS has a limited reach of only 30 nautical miles and is also limited to transfer on only certain types of data. VDES will enable global connectivity through satellite networks as well as efficient transfer of more data types.
– VDES offers a faster and more efficient data connection compared to other satcom services on the market, and after the VDES standard was assigned global radio frequencies last year, we now have the opportunity to launch the first global VDES network improving navigation services and security for ships sailing through treacherous passages, Per Koch explains.