Skip to main content


HiSeasNet has successfully added service on SatMex 5 beam 1 to supply connectivity to ships traveling further north along both coasts. The new carriers are 128kbps shore-to-ship and 64kbps ship-to-shore and will be used initially by R/V Point Sur and R/V New Horizon as they travel north to Washington state for work in the PLUSNET project. This brings HiSeasNet to its 5th satellite transponder: SatMex5 beams 1 and 2 over North America, Intelsat 701 over the Pacific Ocean, Intelsat 707 over the Atlantic Ocean, and Intelsat 906 over the Indian Ocean.

Point Sur

Welcome aboard to the folks at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Their vessel, the R/V Point Sur, joined HiSeasNet today. This is the second installation of the smaller SeaTel 4006 1m dish, and the first one on the west coast. Service is provided through the SatMex 5 Ku-band satellite. MLML is operated by a consortium of seven California State University campuses (Fresno, Hayward, Monterey Bay, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, and Stanislaus).

* MELVILLE Scripps Institution of Oceanography 279
* KNORR Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 279
* THOMAS G. THOMPSON University of Washington 274
* ROGER REVELLE Scripps Institution of Oceanography 274
* ATLANTIS Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 274
* MARCUS G. LANGSETH Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory 239
* SEWARD JOHNSON Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution 204
* KILO MOANA University of Hawaii 185
WECOMA Oregon State University 185
* ENDEAVOR University of Rhode Island 184
* OCEANUS Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 177
* NEW HORIZON Scripps Institution of Oceanography 170
* POINT SUR Moss Landing Marine Laboratories 135
CAPE HATTERAS Duke University/UNC 135
ROBERT GORDON SPROUL Scripps Institution of Oceanography 125
HUGH R. SHARP University of Delaware 120
ATLANTIC EXPLORER Bermuda Biological Station for Research 115
* PELICAN Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium 105

* HiSeasNet

• Pending HiSeasNet

R/V Langseth (operated by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory [LDEO]) joined HiSeasNet—with a C-band connection through the Atlantic satellite—on 25 April 2007 while in port in Galveston, Texas. The 2.4m SeaTel antenna was installed quickly and demonstrates improvements that have been made by SeaTel recently. This installation brings all of the Global and Ocean class UNOLS vessels into HiSeasNet.


R/V Oceanus joined HiSeasNet 27 March 2007 while in port in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Shortly following the hardware installation of a SeaTel 6006 antenna 24 March, the ship successfully demonstrated it could route data via its HiSeasNet Ku-band connnection to the SatMex5 satellite. This regional class ship is the third WHOI vessel to become part of the network in the last few years.

HiSeasNet has inagurated service in the Indian Ocean region via Intelsat IS-906 satellite at 64ûE. operating through Intelsat's Fuchsstadt, Germany teleport. Communications for the Indian Ocean region are routed onto the Internet through the HiSeasNet hub at UCSD with the rest of the ships' traffic. R/V Roger Revelle, at 64S, 110E, went out of range of the Pacific Ocean satellite on Saturday, and picked up a connection to Intelsat's IS-906 satellite on the evening of February 13, 2007. This transition marks the first time that HiSeasNet has had a ship move between not only oceans, but earth stations and providers. Despite a 2 day outage as the ship steamed into range of the new bird, the transition went fairly smoothly given the number of small details involved.

With service on Intelsat's IS-707 at 307ûE and IS-701 at 180, operating through the San Diego hub, HiSeasNet is now global.

R/V Pelican, operated by Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, is now online via HiSeasNet. Pelican utilizes a SeaTel 4006 1m Ku-band antenna. Internet traffic is passing through a SatMex 5 to the HiSeasNet earth station that sits on top of the San Diego Supercomputer Center's primary building. Traffic plots are available online here.

EOS's 2 May 2006 issue features an article that highlights HiSeasNet presence on all but two ships in the Universities National Oceanographic Laboratories System (UNOLS) fleet. Excerpt below:

HiSeasNet, the communications network providing full-period Internet access for the U.S. academic ocean research fleet, is an enabling technology that is changing the way oceanography is done in the 21st century...In addition to the familiar IP services—such as e-mail, telnet, ssh, rlogin, Web traffic, and ftp—HiSeasNet can move real-time audio and video traffic across the satellite links. Phone systems onboard research ships can be connected to their home institutions’ phone exchanges. Video teleconferencing with the current 96 kilobits per second circuits supports compressed video frame rates at about 10 frames per second, allowing for effective conversations and demonstrations with ship-to-shore video.

Eos, Vol. 87, No. 18, 2 May 2006. Download the article as a pdf.. © AGU 2006.

The 2 May 2006 article prompted the following remarks from Dr. Vic Delnore, NASA Science Directorate:

From morse code to HiSeasNet, communicating with research vessels at sea has certainly come a long way since the summer of 1960 when each morning I hiked the steep incline above La Jolla Shores Drive. There I would find A. B. "Nick" Carter, a colorful character with a big white handlebar mustache, already on the key exchanging messages with Scripps' ships in all corners of the globe.

As the recipient of an NSF award for high school students to spend the summer at a science institution, I was assigned to SIO's coastal radio station WWD. Using morse code on several shortwave frequencies, WWD was the sole means of communication between the La Jolla campus and the ships at sea...On some days Nick and I drove down to the Embarcadero on San Diego's waterfront to install radio gear on the R/V Argo, then undergoing conversion from Navy use. (Argo was sister to Woods Hole's R/V Chain.) This was my first experience with an oceanographic research vessel, something that I was to see a lot of during the next decades!

What a happy summer for a kid just starting to explore horizons beyond high school! The other NSF awardees at Scripps worked in the labs and libraries, but I got to handle the message traffic between those labs and researchers on far-away expeditions, so of course my imagination ran wild! I learned radio and also something of navigation, just so I could figure out where each ship was and thus which way to swing our beam antenna. This early preparation later widened my opportunities in oceanography-like many other researchers in this field I came to feel as much at home on the bridge and radio room of a ship as on the fantail or in the wet lab. That summer at Scripps taught me both ends of ship to shore communications, and also the vital link that lay between.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution's R/V SEWARD JOHNSON joins HiSeasNet. Installation and commissioning of the HiSeasNet C-Band system on the Seward Johnson was completed in March, 2006 and marks the 9th UNOLS ship to be outfitted with HiSeasNet, providing continuous Internet connectivity to these ships. This vessel, namesake of HARBOR BRANCH founder J. Seward Johnson, Sr., is a 204-foot Oceanographic and Submersible-Support Research Vessel that was built in 1984, commissioned in 1985 and extensively rebuilt and stretched in 1994. With an 6000 nautical mile range and a speed of 13 knots, the vessel is capable of traveling and working in any of the world's oceans, while accommodating up to 40 people.

HiSeasNet is now providing Internet services to the IRIS/IDA Global Seismographic Network station HOPE ( on South Georgia Island ( in the south Atlantic and to the resident scientific community. This service is supported by the British Antarctic Survey ( and IRIS ( with contractor CommSystems of Carlsbad, CA (

EOS's 13 September 2005 issue features an article that highlights HiSeasNet presence on R/V Knorr. The authors (Deborah K. Smith and Peter Lemmond) contend that HiSeasNet is an an invaluable tool for ship to shore real time reasearch:

The availability of HSN on this cruise was invaluable. Because of changing ship schedules, project principal investigator Smith was not able to sail on the ship. Nevertheless, she was able to participate and direct the project in a way that was not envisioned, or possible, when the cruise was originally proposed and funded.As far as we know, this is the first time a survey has been directed from both ship and shore in real time.

Eos, Vol. 86, No. 37, 13 September 2005. Download the article as a pdf. © AGU 2005