site.btaDay 46: RSV 421’s Channels of Communication
In terms of communications, the ship has been provided for since before the expedition began. "During the preparations, Orbitel Connect and the Naval Academy took a resourceful approach and together we were able to ensure a few pillars of constant communication, " said Nikolay Danailov, the Commanding Officer of the Bulgarian naval research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (NAVAL RSV 421).
"Our main communication line is the satellite service via the VSat satellite system, which Orbitel Connect managed to install on board and which we use on a daily basis. So we have the ability to transmit data in the form of emails, to draw information from the global network, to view weather forecasts. The crew also uses the line to communicate, including video conferencing with their families, relatives and friends," he noted. The system also helps with supplying the ship in different ports, he said. "As soon as we approach the ports, we are able to prepare requests for provisions - food and fuel, which are then waiting for us at the pier, making our stay in the respective port as short as possible. In this way, we are able to follow our sailing schedule to Antarctica."
"Another communications mainstay we use to access the global network is the Iridium satellite network, which has coverage across the globe, including both poles. Iridium provides connectivity even in the worst weather conditions using satellites allocated to low earth orbit," the RSV 421's Commander further noted.
"The third pillar of communication installed on RSV 421, one of the most common in global maritime sailing, provides communication in satellite telephony mode via the INMARSAT satellite network," said Danailov.
"In terms of navigational safety, Orbitel Connect also installed a GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) terminal that provides critical communication in the event of a disaster or emergency on board. This equipment also works with the Iridium network and in this way we meet the requirements of the Polar Code, which specifies that a ship operating in polar waters, South of the 60th parallel, must have a similar, polar-compliant terminal," the ship's Commanding Officer explained.
"At Mar del Plata, we have also installed StarLink equipment on an experimental basis, which is already operating very successfully," he added.