Luxury yachts are equipped with different types of radios for vessel-to-vessel and vessel-to-shore communications, enabling crew to navigate safely, contact onshore support and send distress signals during emergencies. This case study examines the shortcomings of communications on a VIP customer’s fleet of yachts due to limited radio coverage, and how Thuraya resolved them effectively.
The digital radios on the customer’s yachts were programmed to operate in analog mode on all channels. Over 6 frequencies/channels were available for use, and the overall communication infrastructure functioned in analog conventional mode. The first available channel was a repeater operating on Motorola MTR3000 and the rest were analog simplex in direct mode. The onboard radio systems had multiple limitations. A major shortcoming was that the repeater relied on a shore-based radio relay station, as a result of which, it was unable to extend the radio range beyond a few nautical miles off the coast. There was limited or zero coverage further out at sea, making communications between yachts extremely tedious and often impossible. Moreover, the analog conventional mode does not support advanced features such as encryption and enhanced digital voice quality, which are critical for maintaining secure and clear communications.
To overcome the above limitations and ensure seamless radiocommunications, Thuraya deployed its Push-To-Talk (PTT) solution on each yacht. The solution consisted of a Mobile Gateway delivering PTT capabilities and the Thuraya Orion IP maritime broadband terminal to enable communications over Thuraya’s resilient satellite network. All the mobile gateways were then linked to the radio systems via E&M1 integration on Motorola radios.
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