Maritime Mesh Networking
Hollywood has a lot to answer for. Thanks to globetrotting super spies and their endless supply of physics-defying gadgets, it is often assumed that it is entirely possible to surf the web on your average smartphone from a life raft in mid Atlantic.
Mining and energy companies wish it were so. Natural resources have a disarming habit of being located in remote desert or in the deep ocean, where existing communications links are highly expensive, unreliable, insecure or simply non-existent.
Daily mining operations depend on a river of data. Reports, positions, drilling and sample data, logistics and supply, production and scheduling. In an offshore field, the vast majority of communication between platforms and their shepherding support vessels today is data rather than voice. And much of it has traditionally gone via subscription-based data services, even though sender and receiver are in close proximity. But not for much longer.
The Domo Tactical Communications (DTC) team may not meet the Hollywood stereotype, but when they arrive on offshore platforms and vessels the effect is much the same. Out of suitcase-sized containers come two black boxes, each sporting a pair of diversity antennae. Designed to withstand wind and rain, they are fixed to the external superstructure and linked via cable to the control room. The traffic they can accept reads like a who’s who of the communications world – namely composite and HD video and audio, VOIP, e-mail, GPS feed and the ability to control a Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) security camera.
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