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Huge congratulations are due to WHOI, the NTSB and the US Coast Guard for successfully locating the voyage data recorder (VDC) of the sunken cargo ship El Faro. SS El Faro was declared missing October 2, 2015, a day after ship encountered Hurricane Joaquin (cat 3) and communications ceased. Locating the VDC, an object the size of a basketball, three miles underwater and 41 miles from land, is a tremendous feat and will hopefully help researchers learn more about the shipwreck. (http://bit.ly/1VXICdP)

Owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by WHOI, the research vessel Atlantis was deployed for the search operation. There was tremendous team effort to support the realtime video streaming of the operations was a team effort with teammates from the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center, Comm Systems, Verizon Satellite Solutions Group , and IGPP/SIO’s HiSeasNet (HSN: https://hiseasnet.ucsd.edu).

HSN is a provider of satellite based Internet access to the Atlantis. In this instance, HSN provided the Atlantis with its ship to shore equipment while Verizon Satellite Solutions Group (via NTSB) provided the shore to ship equipment and the space segment. Satellite bandwidth was contributed by the Ocean Exploration Trust, operator of the EV Nautilus. For the search effort, HSN upgraded the Atlantis satellite equipment to enabled live HD video feeds from seafloor to NTSB headquarters. The upgrade will also make future bandwidth expansions possible to support future telepresence needs of scientific teams on the Atlantis.


HiSeasNet welcomes a new network engineer, Kevin Walsh. Kevin will replace Steve Foley as the primary HiSeasNet technical contact. Over the next while, Kevin will be ramping up on the project, and he looks forward to engaging with techs and scientists soon.


As of this afternoon, the Pacific Ocean Region (POR) service to the large C-band ships is 2 Mbit from shore-to-ship and 256kbps from ship-to-shore for each vessel at sea. This represents a great increase in the bandwidth available to and from those research vessels. Service is now being provided by Intelsat's IS-18 satellite.


The satellite-based internet service offered to the ships operating in the Gulf of Mexico and South America footprint of SatMex8 was upgraded. The ships how have a shore-to-ship bandwidth of 1 Mbps and return ship-to-shore carriers of 256kbps per slot. This represents a doubling of the bandwidth available to and from those research vessels over their expansion in November 2014.


The satellite-based internet service offered to the ships operating in the North America footprint of SatMex8 was upgraded. The ships how have a shore-to-ship bandwidth of 768kbps and return ship-to-shore carriers of 256kbps per slot. This represents a great increase in the bandwidth available to and from those research vessels.


As of this afternoon, the AOR service to the large C-band ships is 2 Mbit from shore-to-ship and 256kbps from ship-to-shore for each vessel at sea. This represents a great increase in the bandwidth available to and from those research vessels. More expansions will be coming later this month for the other satellite beams.


The HiSeasNet service for the Ku-band ships in the Gulf of Mexico and southern US coastal areas doubled. The ships are now sharing a 512 Kbps link from shore to ship while each ship has a 128 Kbps link from ship-to-shore.


The San Diego earth station has new amplifiers for all antennas. The Ku-band system now sports a 150W amplifier, while the C-band systems are running 250W amplifiers. The old Comtech CDM-550 modems were replaced with Teledyne Q-Flex modems. As matching modems are installed on the vessels over the coming months, more efficient services will be enabled.


R/V Atlantic Explorer is now operating on a 256 Kbps bidirectional link. This is a doubling of their previous 128/128 Kbps link.


University of Washington's R/V Thomas G. Thompson has expanded its HiSeasNet bandwidth to enable a real-time video stream from the WHOI's Nereus ROV. The 1.2 Mbit ship-to-shore bandwidth will, for the next few weeks, support real-time video from the seafloor as the ship works in the western Pacific Ocean.