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  • Satellite Evolution

Marlink provides seamless connectivity for scientific research vessel

The Gombessa 6 saturation barge and the submerged turret (©Jordi Chias Gombessa Expéditions)

Marlink, the leading provider of smart network solutions, has teamed up with environmental research group Andromède Océanologie to support its ‘Gombessa 6’ project with smart hybrid connectivity.

The research team is composed of an oceanographic trimaran and the saturation barge of the National Institute of Deep Diving (INPP) towed by M/V Pionnier, owned by long-time Marlink connectivity partner SeaOwl, which operates the platform supply vessel on behalf of the French Navy. SeaOwl and Marlink have previously collaborated on other innovative projects including the Remote Operated Services at Sea (ROSS) initiative.

From impact studies to the implementation of ecological restoration measures, Andromède Océanologie supports maritime projects with a strategy to integrate any coastal or offshore project into its operations. The ‘Gombessa 6’ project will study and report on coralligenous atolls off the Cape Corse in the ‘Parc naturel marin du Cap Corse et de l’Agriate’.

On its current three-week mission, connectivity provided by Marlink will enable the Andromède Océanologie team to collect and transmit large amounts of data on these mysterious structures. First discovered in 2012 by Corte University and named for their circular shape, the origin and growth dynamics of the atolls are still unknown but their shape could result from hydrodynamic action or anthropogenic sources.

Satcom systems onboard M/V Pionnier were upgraded by Marlink at the port of Toulon in late June and the boat set sail on schedule on June 28. The VSAT system will provide the researchers with seamless high-quality connectivity throughout the mission, enabling the team to transfer critical data at high-speed as well as streaming video.

To demonstrate its ability to go ‘Above and Beyond’ in connecting remote locations, Marlink collaborated with the European Space Agency to facilitate a duplex video call between Andromède Océanologie team leader Laurent Ballesta on M/V Pionnier and French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, currently onboard the International Space Station.

“Marlink’s support to Andromède Océanologie is a real-life example of how we go ‘Above and Beyond’ to support vital research initiatives evaluating the ecological status of the world’s oceans,” said Tore Morten Olsen, President, Maritime, Marlink. “By providing research teams with the smart hybrid connectivity they need to better understand the impact of human activities on our oceans, we play our part in sustainability and demonstrate stewardship of the planet.”


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