The Inmarsat C system is approved by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). GMDSS has been compulsory for all passenger and merchant ships over 300 DWT since 1999.The two way tracking and messaging service allows the portal user to request automated position reports over the Inmarsat satellite network. These are sent at frequent intervals (average 6-12 per day) or on instant request. The Sat C system also allows messages in free text to be sent directly to the vessel. With some Vessels only checking email systems once every day the messaging service is vital for sending important information such as piracy alerts and navigational warnings to the ship in real time. In high risk waters some vessels also turn off AIS tracking, satellite C tracking monitors the progress of your fleet even with AIS turned OFF.
AIS tracking is delivered in two variables, terrestrial and satellite. With the growing number of AIS receivers surrounding ports and infrastructure the ability to track vessels in close proximity to land has improved dramatically in the last few years. AIS signals are transmitted from the ship over VHF and collected by the terrestrial receivers. Through databases this information can contain details such as Vessel names, IMO numbers , destination , CSE , speed and heading which can be displayed on the Clearwater Portal. When vessels are out of range of the terrestrial receivers the same signals continue to be sent by the vessel. These signals are collected by satellites that are passing overhead and the AIS information is then sampled and sent to ground earth stations where it is processed and distributed through the databases to the Clearwater portal.
Satellite passes are improving in latency and provided the AIS system is turned on and working the maximum delay in receiving reports should be around 6 hours.
AIS information can also be used in other ways to include cross referencing satellite imagery and radar feeds to build up maritime situational awareness and to improve security of vulnerable infrastructure.
The Raptor operates on the most advanced M2M satellite network in the world capable of sending 1440 reports every day (1 every minute). The device is configured to send up to 20 times more data than other devices in its class and hosts a built in battery back-up should standard power be disconnected. The Raptor is made up by combining a satellite modem and a data application card. This allows Raptor to monitor numerous inputs such as engine RPM , engine run hours, GPS position and at the same time monitor up to 128 geo fences in real time. The moment a geo border is crossed you will be notified by email , SMS or phone call. Alerts and warnings can be configured for speed alerts both above and below the set range, Jamming detection , power loss and on device tampering.
Raptor in a security environment
Raptor can be installed in a covert location away from existing vessel communications. There is strong historic evidence that one of the first things aggressors do after boarding is disconnect the existing communications devices and cut the power. With a Raptor installation the vessels position continues to be relayed and this information can be transmitted to maritime authorities for immediate assistance. Wireless necklace pendents that work over radio frequency can be connected to the terminal and will send an alarm to our operations room in the event the necklace is activated. Call cascade protocols can then be initiated.
Raptor instant communications
Raptor can be plugged into the Clearwater communicator allowing the office to send free text type messages directly to the ship through the Clearwater portal. The messages are delivered instantly and can be replied to through the touch screen , multi-language interface. Automated forms such as daily reports , UKMTO entry reports and port arrival information can be pre-programmed for quick submission. When a message is sent to the communicator an audible alarm is sounded with quick reply option displaying canned messages. There is also an option to use the touch screen device as an SSAS button in the case of an emergency. This reduces the dependency on Inmarsat C services and cuts out response time waiting for masters logging into expensive email systems.
Most mobile devices can be re configured to work with the Clearwater portal. Simple integration allows users with mobile devices ( typically PMSCs) to view their teams progress and track operational equipment. Devices supported can include , Rockblock , yellow brick, Delorme In reach , I Sat pro phones and SPOT ME trackers.