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 New players, standardization and digitalization for more rail freight transport
16.07.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | 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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>