Classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) and satellite communications provider Inmarsat have developed a connectivity solution that will address challenges experienced during remote surveys. The solution combines LR Remote with Inmarsat’s Fleet Connect.

LR Remote is a specifically engineered application for remote inspection that enables crew members to livestream video, photos and audio from on board a ship to an LR technical specialist located elsewhere. Fleet Connect provides an uninterrupted dedicated satellite link between vessels and seafarers, offering users function-specific bandwidth that is independent of business-critical vessel operations or crew communications. With no additional communication hardware required to run this application, the separation allows LR Remote to be enabled remotely without any intervention on-site.

Fleet Connect provides dedicated bandwidth which is secure and reliable, meaning it can increase the potential of remote surveys on vessels where connectivity restraints have previously limited its use. This approach is said to provide flexibility and 24/7 availability, which enables surveyors to perform surveys efficiently using a blend of techniques, reducing the impact of unexpected situations on vessel operations, where surveyors and crew can quickly navigate problems using remote technology.

The new solution is another step towards digital class, opening opportunities for future uses of vessel data in demonstrating compliance and driving deeper insight into vessel efficiency and fleet optimisation. The solution is currently being piloted by LR and Inmarsat with clients specialising in gas carriers and bulker carriers.

One in three surveys completed remotely

This collaboration follows increased uptake in remote services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic as access to ships and assets became more challenging. Presently, one in three of the 30,000+ surveys LR performs each year is completed remotely. Subsequently, in May 2020, LR introduced a team of a global team of remote survey champions to support remote surveys within the marine and offshore industries.

Picture: The combination of LR Remote and Fleet Connect means remote ship surveys take place in real time, reducing the impact of unexpected situations.

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