Inmarsat Government delivers connectivity for Antarctic mission

10 April 2020: Inmarsat Government has successfully provided mobile communications support to a multidisciplinary expedition to the South Orkney Islands.

Supported by the research vessel RV Braveheart, the South Orkney Expedition took place on from 21 February to 6 March. The South Orkney Islands are located in the Southern Ocean, about 375 miles north-east of the Antarctic Peninsula.

This expedition was undertaken by the Perseverance DX Group, a nonprofit expedition organisation that conducted record-setting, multi-mode high frequency (HF) communications using amateur radio frequencies, ranging from just above the Amplitude Modulated (AM) broadcast band to the edge of the Very High Frequency (VHF) band, under widely varying space weather (ionospheric and solar flux) conditions. The team also collected marine sediment samples for scientific research.

STEM lessons

Additionally, middle and high school science teachers were provided information for use in their classrooms on a number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) topics. The expedition team also tested satellite communications and new amateur radio technologies in this remote region of the world.

During the expedition, Inmarsat Government provided its award-winning BGAN satellite communication services to enable expedition members to partner with schools and supplement STEM classroom education of the Antarctic. The expedition also relied on Inmarsat’s highly dependable Global Satellite Phone Service (GSPS) via the Inmarsat-4 constellation to stay connected.

“These internet activities would not have been possible without Inmarsat services. We appreciate Inmarsat Government’s cooperation, technical assistance and the equipment that included BGAN and satellite phone services,” said Dr David Lloyd, South Orkney Expedition leader.

Extreme conditions

“Conducting expeditions to remote parts of the world to do research and support student STEM education requires having communications equipment that can reliably provide voice and broadband data communications under extreme conditions.”

Tom Costello, Chief Commercial Officer, Inmarsat Government said: “Inmarsat Government is proud to be the communications partner for the Perseverance DX Group in their quest to travel to remote places around the globe such as South Orkney Islands.

“It has been a privilege to support this expedition through our dependable on-the-move communications and do our part in further enhancing scientific exploration and education.”

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