A team of scientists including MaREI’s Vikram Pakrashi and Prof Frederic Dias from University College Dublin are involved in this challenge of creating the furthest maritime transmission without the use of satellites. The mission is to beat the existing record of 19.4 nautical miles (35.92 km), that was achieved by Arnaud Disant and SEA-Tech (both Ireland) in Cork, Ireland, on 6 June 2018.
Do you remember the time of the dial-up internet? If you do, I bet you have this “Eeeee-aww-eeee-aww-eeee-aww-eeee-aww” sound in your head. And you think these days are long gone, with fibre optic and 4G available almost everywhere. However, this is really not the case once you leave the shore and set to the ocean. After a few nautical miles, cellular data becomes incidental and gradually using satellite communication is inevitable. A mostly unknown but large population of men and women are working at sea for eight to ten months of the year, only seeing their families on rare occasions. Consider also fishermen and all those who defend our coasts against the multiple kinds of trafficking, including any type of goods, and even human trafficking, and who are fighting to protect the marine ecosystem. And all they have in terms of communications are two possibilities: satellite, or cellular systems such as the 3G used by your mobile phone. SeaFi offers a new third option. SeaFi facilitates the creation of private networks in ports and coastal areas by establishing connections between lighthouses, maritime wind turbines, or offshore drilling platforms and vessels at sea. These networks are used to connect the ships and their crews, as well as the data collection buoys (weather, tides) for example.
In 2018, using the SeaFi technology invented by Arnaud Disant, a scientific world record for the longest wireless internet communication at sea was established: 19.4 nautical miles (35.92 km). This year we are challenging this record. You might ask – why do you want to challenge your own record? Well, competing with yourself is the ultimate form of self-improvement and the one challenge that never ends. When we compete with ourselves, we focus on our own progress and growth, and we set our own standards of excellence. While striving to be better than we were yesterday, we push ourselves to new heights and achieve things we never thought possible. We have already been asked how to contribute to our effort. A fundraiser has been set up. Your contribution will go directly towards chartering the local cargo supply vessel that is essential to venture offshore beyond 19.4 nautical miles, thus making a positive impact on our community. If you would like to contribute, please follow this link.
Click here for more information and to follow their progress.