Inmarsat delivers connectivity for Tonga mission USV

11 October 2022

Inmarsat has provided SEA-KIT International’s uncrewed surface vessel (USV) Maxlimer with connectivity services to transmit data and video from the site of the recent underwater volcanic eruption in Tonga.

The USV mapped the volcano’s submerged caldera and measured local marine conditions as part of an international project to assess the environmental damage caused by the eruption.

Maxlimer was equipped with a Global Xpress antenna and Fleet LTE hardware back in 2021, adding to its pre-existing FleetBroadband antenna, enabling it to access full Fleet Xpress capabilities and seamlessly switch between networks. Following the eruption, SEA-KIT signed up for a high-upload plan with 99.9% uptime service level agreement via Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band satellites to support the vessel’s survey activities in Tonga. It also acquired the services of Videosoft Global; Maxlimer used Videosoft’s streaming service to transmit live video from the site, as well as high-definition, low-latency CCTV enabling SEA-KIT to monitor the vessel’s operations remotely.

“This project represented a natural evolution of Inmarsat’s relationship with SEA-KIT and offered us an exciting opportunity to support an important initiative,” said Scott Middleton, sales director EMEA, Inmarsat Maritime.

“This is our most remote mission to date, taking place in the Pacific Ocean 16,000 kilometres from our base in Tollesbury, Essex. In these circumstances, reliability is critical from our connectivity partner,” said Ashley Skett, director of operations, SEA-KIT International. “Inmarsat provides us with world-class connectivity, allowing us to control and monitor Maxlimer’s operations and access live-streamed video via a dedicated network. We will work together with Inmarsat as we continue to demonstrate the ground-breaking capabilities of our uncrewed surface vessels as a solution for safer and more sustainable maritime operations around the world.”