Wärtsilä “floating lab” ship connects via Inmarsat

Written by Nick Blenkey
Wärtsilä ANCS floating laboratory ship Ahti

Wärtsilä ANCS uses floating laboratory ship Ahti to test-bed cutting edge technology. [Image: Inmarsat]

Wärtsilä ANC (Automation, Navigation And Control Systems) uses its “floating laboratory” vessel Ahti to enable customers to test its solutions, and those of its tech partners, in a seaborne environment. The company has selected Viasat’s Inmarsat Maritime business to connect Ahti, and its shore operations, supporting both the data exchange for advanced technology testing and the ship’s day to day operations. Inmarsat Maritime’s Fleet Xpress connectivity will be packaged with unlimited back-up from FleetBroadband to meet all the demonstration vessel’s needs.

Wärtsilä ANCS uses Ahti, converted from a former German fisheries protection vessel, to provide real-time insights into a vessel’s performance, energy use and the impact on commercial shipping. Ahti provides a safer, faster, and more cost-effective setting for tests than an in-service while still delivering accurate insights into performance at sea for test center staff ashore.

Ahti reduces time to market by providing a faithful reflection of a technology’s capabilities and limitations on the open water without the risks, red tape and costs that come with full-scale sea trial,” said Wärtsilä ANCS vice president Michael Christiansen. “As a floating laboratory, the vessel depends on reliable, high-speed connectivity, meaning that Inmarsat’s market-leading VSAT service, Fleet Xpress, is an important addition on board.”

Inmarsat’s service provider for the project, Kiel, Germany, headquartered DRYNET GmbH, is also one of the Wärtsilä ANCS technology partners contributing to Ahti’s operations. The company selected Fleet Xpress and FleetBroadband as the best solution to provide a “multi-modal wide-area network” for the ship.

Equipped with Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress with always-on back-up from FleetBroadband, Ahti has the reliability, resilience, and redundancy it requires to remain constantly connected,” said Drynet managing partner Holger Ritter. “The multi-modal connectivity package can also handle the vast quantities of data that Ahti generates, providing a strong foundation for applications such as enhanced situational awareness and remote control.”

Scott Middleton, regional sales director, Inmarsat Maritime, said “With Ahti, Wärtsilä ANCS has created a means of demonstrating maritime technology that circumvents the usual challenges associated with testing at sea or in shore-based laboratories. We are proud to have been chosen as connectivity partner for a project that promises to accelerate maritime digitalization, and we are grateful for the support of our long-time collaborator and Inmarsat service provider DRYNET.”

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