MARITIME COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTION ENABLING BROADBAND ACCESS AT SEA TO ONSHORE NETWORKS
The solution consists of a communications node that may be deployed in multiple platforms such as balloons, drones, buoys, ships, and offshore wind farms to provide long range, broadband communications at sea, either to access land-based networks or to communicate at sea with peer nodes.
The maritime communications solution is an alternative to expensive, narrowband Satellite communications. It combines the developments performed by INESC TEC in multiple projects, including EEA Grants BLUECOM+ and P2020 MareCom. The former explored the deployment of the communications nodes on tethered balloons; the latter focused on the deployment on ships.
The solution consists of a communications node that may be deployed in multiple platforms such as balloons, drones, buoys, ships, and offshore wind farms to provide long range, broadband communications at sea, either to access land-based networks or to communicate at sea.
The novelty lies on 1) the use of communications nodes forming a mesh broadband network that may operate in different frequency bands, from TV white spaces up to 5 GHz, 2) a multi-sectorial antenna capable of dynamically aligning its beam, and 3) a new medium access control mechanism for long-range communications improving data rates up to 40%.
The solution can be used in a myriad of applications including:
Marine waters monitoring
Offshore wind farming
Search and rescue operations
Offshore oil and gas
Deep Sea Mining
The solution may be commercially exploited worldwide, namely in coastline countries and considering the concrete applications listed above. The market potential is huge, namely taking into account the expected increase in maritime transportation traffic in European waters, and the increasing activity at sea (e.g., offshore aquaculture, deep sea mining, upcoming autonomous shipping). Wireless communications will be required to support all these activities conveniently, in a cost-effective way, and enable human remote presence at the harsh ocean environment.
Alternative to expensive, narrowband Satellite communications
Providing data rates up 15 Mbit/s
Multi-hop communications capability
MARITIME SECURITY, SAFETY & SURVEILLANCE
OCEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY
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Sustainable Development Goals
INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
LIFE BELOW WATER
14.2. Promote the protection, restoration, and the sustainable management of the marine and coastal ecosystems and the marine biodiversity
14.4. Foster the local development of the coastal communities
14.5 Deepen the maritime surveillance policy
14.A. Increase the scientific knowledge, develop scientific capacities and transfer marine technology