Dubai’s Elcome International and Broadcast Solutions recently completed a live proof-of-concept (POC) demonstration of a maritime mesh network for coastal operations. The POC demonstration, which involved a land-based station and several vessels, confirmed the capabilities of the system, including live messaging and video conferencing between headquarters and mobile units at sea.
The maritime mesh network utilises advanced software-defined tactical radios with multiplexing modulation technology, specialised antennas and IP collaboration tools to communicate across interconnected cells. The multi-node network can sustain secure low-latency broadband connectivity with offshore vessels roaming across a wide operating area offshore.
Communication modes for the network include voice-over-IP (VOIP), multi-stream video, push-to-talk (PTT) radio, messaging, file transfer and other IP-based applications. A video management system optimises interface feeds from the vessels’ electronics, such as radar, sonar, ECDIS, infra-red sensors and surveillance cameras, for real-time monitoring at the command centre ashore. A playback mode can be used for after-action event analysis.
During the POC demonstration, the IP network achieved consistent 30 Mbps bandwidth links across a 20 nautical mile sector. “This trial provided a convincing demonstration of the potential benefits the meshed mobile IP network can bring to broadband services for vessels and offshore platforms,” said Jimmy Grewal, executive director of Elcome International. “We look forward to working with Broadcast Solutions to move toward full deployment of this powerful technology.”