At best, a yachtsman far out to sea experiences an exhilarating solitude to equal any space traveller. But too much isolation at sea can give rise to loneliness, disorientation and multiple dangers.
A new ESA-developed technology enables boat crews to check their positions, stay in constant contact with shore, receive urgent emergency warnings, and enable friends and family to remotely track them on the internet.
If a boat becomes dangerously water-logged or its power system is on the verge of failure, an onboard GlobalWave MT2000 terminal can send an automatic SOS message together with its exact GPS co-ordinates back to dry land, via satellites orbiting 35,000 km above the ocean waves.
Less dramatically, a yachtsman can also use his satellite terminal to book engineering or concierge service before he puts into shore. And even if his vessel is laid up for the winter the service remains useful – satellite-linked security sensors keep guard against intrusion.
Dominique Detain | alfa
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