Putting ship and crew safety first

On the open water, being prepared is often the best protection. A ship in distress needs the reassurance of a dependable communications system — especially when travelling outside the limits of traditional maritime communications.

The Next Generation of GMDSS

A reliable GMDSS solution is essential for shipping companies, regardless of their chosen route. Iridium is driving the future of maritime safety with our next generation network and service – Iridium CertusSM – which will provide coverage and protection that meet the IMO’s new performance standards for GMDSS equipment and services.

By 2020, Iridium expects to provide mariners with an alternative GMDSS solution that will offer secure, reliable, and truly global voice and data GMDSS communications in a single, small-form-factor maritime mobile terminal – at a fraction of the price of competing solutions.

The Iridium® Advantage

When a vessel is in rolling seas and driving rain, its crew should not need to worry about its satellite connection. Fortunately, the Iridium® network is designed to work in the most extreme conditions at sea.

The Iridium network design is unique: 66 cross-linked satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) cover the entire globe, pole-to-pole and every point in between, all day, every day. LEO provides a stronger signal and better “look angles” than geostationary satellites, so ships stay connected, even in adverse weather and in any location – including in harbors and beyond the 70th parallels.

The L-Band frequencies Iridium uses (between 1 and 2 GHz) are different. They are less susceptible to rain fade than higher frequencies do, and they don’t require a large dish pointed directly at a satellite – both critical requirements in storms and heavy seas.

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The only LRIT system operating
in Sea Area A4

Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) equipment is mandatory for passenger ships on international voyages, high-speed craft, mobile offshore drilling units, and cargo ships over 300 gross tons. Iridium Short Burst Data® (SBD®) service enables LRIT with truly global coverage and a range of high-performance dedicated device options.


A range of global anti-piracy

International waters are becoming increasingly threatened by piracy, and the need for ships to have highly secure communications is essential. To counter the threat of piracy, Iridium and its partners provide a number of options, including covert antennas for citadel solutions, which are built with Iridium’s leading technologies and specifically designed to assist in the case of an attack on a vessel.


Ship Security Alert System

Iridium’s always-on, global satellite network helps ensure that if a ship is taken over, no matter where it ends up, the authorities will be able to track and locate it. Iridium has partnered with EMA Group to provide BlueTracker SSAS, built with Iridium’s rugged technology, providing tracking and security alerting functionalities while protecting against the elements, even in the Arctic regions.

Where to Buy

Satellite AIS

Iridium partners exactEarth and Harris are harnessing the power of the Iridium NEXT constellation to provide real-time Automatic Identification System detection of vessels outside the normal range of VHF transmissions. This innovative system detects AIS broadcasts and retransmits them through the Iridium NEXT network, enhancing maritime domain awareness beyond the horizon.


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