First IoT/VSAT pilot project begins

KVH Industries
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Two leaders in satellite communications and vessel monitoring are carrying out a joint industry pilot project to monitor and optimise operations

As a new decade for vessel monitoring and optimised operations gets underway, KVH Industries and Kongsberg Digital have started trialling a new internet of things (IoT) and connectivity service on a commercial vessel.

This is the first installation of an integrated maritime IoT system on an active working vessel by this pair. Together, they have installed KVH Watch IoT connectivity service and Kongsberg Digital’s vessel monitoring platform on a research ship.

This bundled solution combines KVH’s VSAT hardware and Ku-band connectivity with the Kognifai Vessel Insight service.

It was installed in Q4 2019 on Simrad Echo, a Norwegian research vessel owned and operated by Kongsberg. This vessel will continue normal operations during the pilot project.

During this time, KVH Watch and Kognifai Vessel Insight will provide integrated infrastructure for IoT vessel-to-shore data transmissions and monitoring critical operational systems.

This will test technology that aims to improve vessel operations through real-time monitoring and data analysis. Kognifai Vessel Insight will monitor main and auxiliary systems on Simrad Echo to help ensure 100% availability. Kongsberg’s Mapping Cloud application will move high-resolution echo sounding data from vessel to shore in real-time, enabling shore-based experts to analyse data and optimise vessel operations.

Data will be transmitted over KVH’s VSAT communications including a high-throughput satellite (HTS) network using Intelsat’s constellation.

KVH Watch features two modes: Watch Flow for 24/7, machine-to-machine data delivery compatible with major IoT ecosystems such as Kognifai; and Watch Intervention for on-demand high-speed sessions for face-to-face support, remote equipment access, and very large data transfers.

Both modes and HTS connectivity will be tested during Simrad Echo trials said KVH senior director of maritime services Robert Hopkins.

“During the Simrad Echo pilot, Watch Flow will deliver a complete view of those systems to shore on a Kognifai Vessel Insight dashboard,” he said.

“One system, Kongsberg Mapping Cloud for very high-resolution bathymetry, is particularly data intensive making it a great use case for our high-throughput Watch antenna,” said Mr Hopkins.

Both KVH and Kongsberg Digital intend to use Simrad Echo as a platform to develop tighter integration for remote support and smart bandwidth utilisation.

“KVH is providing an alternative for IoT connectivity that enables the transfer of data from ship to cloud,” said Kongsberg Digital senior vice president of maritime digital solutions Vigleik Takle. “Vessel Insight works as an infrastructure for accessing contextualised quality data from a vessel or fleet,” he said.

Both companies will use this pilot program to enhance their maritime IoT solution for remote equipment monitoring and performance optimisation for vessels ranging from small research vessels to tankers, bulk carriers and container ships.

Simrad Echo with KVH Watch VSAT hardware among radar and other antennas

Simrad Echo with KVH Watch VSAT hardware among radar and other antennas