NYK trialled Elon Musk’s Starlink’s low-orbit satellite system in December 2022 on board containerships operated by NYK Ship Management.
Starlink uses thousands of low-orbit satellites at distance of 550km from earth compared to conventional geo-stationary satellites at an orbit 35,786 km.
“The trials were conducted on container vessels and resulted in significantly higher transmission speeds than previously available along the North American continental coast,” NYK said.
The company sees both benefits for seafarers improving the motivation with better communication with family and friends ashore, and safer operations through real-time support from offices on shore.
“Introducing the Starlink service will enable us to realize the autonomous navigation technology we are currently working on, share weather and marine weather information between vessels and land in the sea area they sail through, and further promote DX onboard operations.”
Elcome International, which announced earlier this week it would be bringing Starlink to the maritime sector said it offers speeds up to 100 times faster and at a fraction of the cost of traditional satellite Internet services.
Jimmy Grewal, Elcome’s Executive Director, said, “It’s not just about fast Internet, but the opportunity for us to implement real-time remote monitoring and autonomy solutions for these customers in ways that were not previously possible. Also consider the benefit to crew members who will now be able to better stay in touch with family and friends while out at sea.”