Mariners, seafarers, ocean engineers, and other professionals who work on open waters need a way to communicate with their coworkers on other ships, as well as those on the shore. Safety is one of the most important reasons for a reliable communication system. The welfare of crew members may hinge on the information shared between the ship and teams on shore. In addition to these concerns, a lot of information is passed between ships and shore to satisfy legal, administrative, and technical operations.
Distance and Desolate Areas
Naturally, today’s communication systems are moving more and more toward digital plans. However, a lot of ships face a common problem: they are at sea in areas where there aren’t many people, so a digital infrastructure hasn’t been established. One solution to this dilemma is the use of satellite communication. The bandwidths of the various satellite systems vary, sometimes limiting the use of satellites. Some places, such as the polar regions, still don’t get reliable coverage.
Further Complicating Factors
Establishing a reliable way to share information back and forth while at sea has many complications. As industry researchers continue to grapple with these challenges, they must consider some important factors:
- Budget constraints
- Accuracy, especially for navigation purposes
- Speed of sharing information
- Security while sending and receiving information
- Reliability, especially during rough weather
- Compliance with industry standards
Of course, intrinsically safe communication solutions must also be appropriate for the type of work performed on the ship. For example, fishing vessels require instrumentation to read the ocean floor. An effective means of communication should be able to share those findings without risking inaccuracies.
Building a Communication Conglomeration
An increasingly popular solution is a combination of high-end mobile communication services and satellite systems. Through the use of systems that are already in place, phone systems, video surveillance systems, and other sources of electronic signals, a conglomeration of distinct parts provides efficient, reliable communication systems.