Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sinking boats raise automatic alarm up to space

14.11.2002


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.



Boat accessories company Volvo Penta has begun making this two-way communications service available to yachtsmen. It utilises a pre-existing satellite network called GlobalWave, operated by Canadian-based firm Vistar Telecommunications.

The GlobalWave network has been operational since 1999, employing geostationary satellites to give businesses the ability to remotely track and control assets such as trucks, storage tanks and construction equipment. End-users access data from GlobalWave with internet-linked servers.

As a boat represents probably the most expensive purchase someone makes after buying a home, extending GlobalWave to leisure and commercial boats seemed a good move.

But problems emerged. The prototype GlobalWave server software was difficult to use, failed to permit customisation for marine or other specialist uses and was unreliable and buggy.

It was here that ESA (pledged to encourage research and development by European and Canadian industry) stepped in, signing a contract to develop a new application server with Vistar and perform pilot trials in a marine environment. The project commenced in July 2001, with marine trials starting in September that year.

ESA worked with a company called Navigation Research to fit five vessels with GlobalWave MT2000 terminals linked to bilge, voltage and intrusion sensors. These self-contained GPS-linked terminals are extremely energy-efficient, capable of functioning for a minimum of three years on battery power alone.

Ranging from a sailboat to a catamaran to a power cruiser to a trawler, these boats sailed along both coasts of the United States during the five month trial, one roaming as far as Hawaii. Users toured a number of boat shows during the trial, generating wide interest in the technology.

Trial feedback helped improve the services now offered by Volvo Penta, anticipated to rapidly become very popular. GlobalWave coverage was initially limited to the vicinity of the US but through regional operators the network is due to cover the globe by the end of this year.

"The GlobalWave Value-Added Application Server (GWVAS), developed by Vistar as part of the ARTES 3 programme element, provides a flexible and user friendly way to access the mobile GlobalWave terminals from a specific business entry point. The Marine Pilot phase run in the ARTES 3 project has been instrumental to demonstrate on the field the potential of the system." says Francesco Feliciani, Head of Applications Section in ESA.

Thanks to ESA, yachtsmen have the chance to sail secure, knowing they`re making tracks through cyberspace as well as waves through the ocean.

Dominique Detain | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Discovering electric mobility in a playful way
18.08.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Combating traffic congestion with advanced data analytics
17.08.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HLF: From an experiment to an establishment

29.09.2016 | Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Multiferroic Materials from Building Blocks

29.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Silicon Fluorescent Material Developed Enabling Observations under a Bright “Biological Optical Window”

29.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

X-shape Bio-inspired Structures

29.09.2016 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>