Safety and Security in Offshore Naval Communications


Which technology is required?

Naval operations require connectivity among a diverse set of platforms such as submarines, surface ships, shore sites and aircraft. Applications include command, control, battle management, dissemination of data, tracking and engagement of targets and many more.

Each platform and application presents unique challenges. For example, subsurface communications that require global connectivity. 

Communications are usually terrestrial (line of sight), terrestrial (relay), or satellite. Optical technologies are being explored in the form of tethered buoys, and laser beams are also being considered for specialised applications. 

Until recently, these technologies had limited networking capability, but new systems are being designed to improve this while working with existing equipment.

Which technology is available?

Integrated communications control systems (ICCS) provide efficient, secure and reliable communications for any type of warship. Multi-functional units (MFU) reduce ship’s cabling. Communications to and from terminals are encrypted. 

Ongoing support is crucial to ensure communications systems are dependable and fit for purpose. Regular auditing is essential for potential enhancements and upgrades, periodic maintenance and obsolescence planning for hardware and software. 

Advanced communication hardware uses bespoke waveforms and well-equipped operations rooms. Strategic advantage is achieved with higher bandwidth, clarity of throughput and data dependability, over significant distances and in wide-ranging operational environments. Advanced technology can provide life-saving early warning of otherwise invisible threats.

New software-based protection can easily be installed on port, terminal, ship or offshore operational technology systems. These include cargo handling equipment, machinery controls and navigation systems. Software provides instant protection without lengthly approval certificate processes or waiting for suppliers to upgrade or replace existing critical systems. 

This new software solution offers complete detection, prevention and alert capabilities for all existing and modern systems. It blocks unauthorised network intrusions and .exe files.

Offshore Communications specialises in maintaining, installing and testing these critical systems and is a preferred vendor for many brands. Contact us today to discuss your requirements. 

WiFi For Passenger Cruise Ships

Offshore Communications installs and maintains EPak Equipment on oil rigs

Holidays and excursions no longer mean truly ‘getting away from it all’. Passengers now expect to be able to check and send emails, stream video and make calls while on board. 

WiFi is now available on virtually all seagoing cruise ships. The industry’s biggest players are investing millions of dollars in communication infrastructures – on land, on ships and in the sky by way of satellites. As a result, WiFi service and prices are more in line with what passengers are used to on land. 

There are still plenty of ships with slow, expensive and spotty service, but they are no longer the norm. However, there will always be some level of unreliability, especially the further out to sea you are. 

VSAT requires a clear line-of-sight between the ship’s antennae and the satellite. Sometimes it might be blocked by a tall building, the mountains of the Norwegian fjords, or the ship’s mast itself. Congestion can also cause issues – with more passengers online and requiring data, speeds will become slower. 

Some cruise lines are beginning to use hybrid systems that combine expensive satellite connections with cheaper land-based links. This can work well for an on-board social media package, but video calling apps require much higher bandwidth and would be more expensive to use. 

The fastest internet connections are found when few people are online, such as late at night, or in a port when passengers are ashore. 

Why Is CCTV Important on Offshore Platforms?

Offshore Communications installs and fixes camera systems on oil rigs

The safety and security of offshore oil and gas platforms has improved hugely following disasters such as Deepwater Horizon. But as infrastructure ages, and greater efficiency is required, there are still challenges to be faced.

The protection of personnel, of expensive equipment and of production processes is essential in such valuable and remote installations. Given the remote locations and nature of these installations, they are unfortunately prime targets for vandalism, theft, trespassing or terrorist attack. 

CCTV has a wide range of uses onboard. From workplace safety, to machine monitoring and anti-piracy deterrents. Video surveillance helps intercept risks, suspicious events, theft, malfunctions and accidents in a timely manner. 

Pumps and control rooms can be monitored with state-of-the-art IP or analogue video surveillance as a ‘virtual eye’, especially in environments unfit for humans – places with toxic fumes, gas, or high temperatures. 

Most other areas can be supervised with marine cameras housed in robust and durable casings. These casings protect from environmental corrosion, UV damage, water, humidity and even bullets. 

Explosion-proof cameras ensure that surveillance in hazardous environments can continue seamlessly and safely. These cameras ensure that any sparks originating within their housings are contained, and that the outside temperature of the device is kept within certain parameters.

Reliability and quality of the CCTV system are essential criteria. Likewise, long-term support with available upgrades. 

Offshore Communications specialises in maintaining, installing and testing these critical systems and is a preferred vendor for many brands. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.