MCLEAN, Va. – September 8, 2010 – (Marine NewsWire) Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) is collaborating with the Danish Maritime Safety Administration (DaMSA) in EfficienSea, a pilot e-Navigation project for Maritime Safety Information (MSI) broadcasts to ships in waters outside the coverage of terrestrial communication systems.
Under the program, DaMSA will conduct shipboard tests of Iridium-based short-burst data (SBD) devices for receiving and printing out MSI messages. Trident Sensors, an Iridium value-added manufacturer and reseller (VAR), is supplying the shipboard device for the tests, and Rock Seven, an Iridium VAR, is providing the software and infrastructure to support the MSI message transmissions. The sea trials are scheduled to start this month, and will run through next year. The trials will primarily be conducted in the Baltic Sea Region and the waters around Greenland, and the results will be presented to international organizations working with e-Navigation such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).
Ships subject to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) requirements must be equipped with a suite of mandatory radio and satellite communication equipment, including a NAVTEX receiver that prints out weather alerts and other safety messages sent from shore authorities.
“The shipboard SBD receiver will mimic NAVTEX processing and message formats,” said Dan Mercer, Iridium general manager and vice president for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia. “The Iridium two-way SBD links also enable additional functionality, such as geo-fencing and vessel tracking, which will permit the MSI broadcasts to switch automatically from NAVTEX to Iridium whenever the ship enters waters not covered by the NAVTEX transmitters.”
“The opening of new Arctic Nav Areas for shipping will pose a challenge for authorities charged with mandatory marine safety broadcasts in those regions,” said Omar Frits Eriksson, head of DaMSA Innovation and Project Division. “In addition to our MSI work within e-Navigation in the Baltic Sea Region, we are working with Iridium and its partners to investigate additional methods for delivering MSI messages to ships in Arctic Nav Areas, taking advantage of Iridium’s low-latency satellite SBD service.”
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium Communications Inc. (www.iridium.com) is the only mobile satellite service (MSS) company offering coverage over the entire globe. The Iridium constellation of low-Earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites provides critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication networks. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of distributors, and provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. and international government agencies. The company’s customers represent a broad spectrum of industry, including maritime, aeronautical, government/defense, public safety, utilities, oil/gas, mining, forestry, heavy equipment and transportation. Iridium has launched a major development program for its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. The company is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A. and trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbols IRDM (common stock), IRDMW ($7.00 warrants), IRDMZ ($11.50 warrants) and IRDMU (units).
About Danish Maritime Safety Administration (DaMSA)
Danish Maritime Safety Administration (DaMSA) is a department of the Danish Ministry of Defence with administration located in Christianshavn, Copenhagen. DaMSA operates throughout Denmark as part of the Danish SAR organization that runs 21 rescue stations located along the coasts of Denmark.
About Rock Seven
Rock Seven (www.rock7mobile.com) is a leading provider of customized back-office software for Iridium SBD devices, providing services for private companies, government organisations and the military and across many business areas including maritime, aerospace, government/defense and transport. Established in 2005, Rock Seven provides high-availability solutions for tracking and messaging applications over the Iridium network. Rock Seven is based in Essex, U.K. and is a privately held company.
About Trident Sensors Limited
Trident Sensors Limited (www.tridentsensors.com) produces state-of-the-art satellite communications and data systems. The company’s systems are used by researchers, government agencies, maritime and fisheries sectors, sporting organizations and armed forces around the world. Systems are ruggedized for extreme environmental conditions, including units that withstand full ocean-depth pressures to 6,000 meters.