HiSeasNet is stitches together technologies from various providers in an effort to provide consistent network connectivity for the vessels the project supports.
Specific solutions in use¶
Please click through to find information about the various services in use.
- Sealink (GEO, C-band/Ku-band)
- Fleet Xpress (GEO, Ka-band/L-band)
- Iridium CERTUS (LEO, L-band)
- HiSeasNet (GEO, C-band/Ku-band)
An overview of the radio frequencies (RF) we encounter can be helpful for planning for multiple RF systems, as well as understanding performance characteristics and limitations.
|IEEE Designation||Frequency Range||Wavelength Range||Service(s)||Notes|
|C-band||4 GHz - 8 GHz||7.5 cm - 3.75 cm||Sealink, HiSeasNet||This frequency range is most effective at getting through cloud cover while also offering sufficient periodicity to produce throughput that is broadly useful. Its use near land is challenged by 5G, which wants to claim 4-6GHz for its use. We may increasingly see use of this frequency only in the deep ocean|
|Ka-band||26 GHz - 40 GHz||1.11 mm - 7.5 mm||Fleet Xpress||This frequency range is higher than others used, so it can outperform others in terms of throughput. Due to its wavelength, heavy cloud cover can interfere with this frequency, though. It is not (yet) broadly used on satellite constellations, so options to leverage it are limited, compared to C-band or Ku-band|
|Ku-band||12 GHz - 18 GHz||2.5 cm - 1.67 cm||Sealink, HiSeasNet||This frequency is one of the most broadly used and availably frequencies for satellite communications. It has limits in the southern Pacific and generally is made up of many stitched-together spot beams to gain energy efficiencies|
|L-band||1 GHz - 2 GHz||7.5 cm - 3.75 cm||Fleet Xpress||Despite its name, this frequency is lower than others. As one of the lowest frequencies used for satellite communications, its wavelength can be effective at getting through cloud cover. That same low frequency, however, tends to keep throughput options limited|
Here is a brief overview of the radio systems that are or could be used for mobile shipboard communications.
|GEO||35,786 km||L-band, C-band, Ku-band, Ka-band||production since 2002||Internet and Voice||GEO is stable, but the orbit is crowded with satellites and the distance makes throughput more limited. We generally prefer to use Ku-band or C-band to overcome reception issues under cloud cover, but Fleet Xpress notably uses Ka-band. C-band is also being encroached upon by 5G and so may fall out of favor for work near the coast.|
|MEO||20,200 km||evaluated (for now)||-||MEO is the orbit GPS systems use, but there are not many offerings in the data realm for MEO, and the ones that exist have only come to market recently. As of 2020, LEO is expected to outpace MEO performance/offerings so and investment in MEO is presently not being considered.|
|LEO||2000 km||L-band (Ka and Ku expected in the future)||production since 2020||out-of-band management for Sealink||LEO began launches in 2018 for the Iridium CERTUS system, which offers moderate performance. Launches of higher-performance systems began in 2019, but have yet to reach production-worthy status. Since LEO is an order of magnitude or more closer to the Earth, performance is somewhere between cellular networks and more traditional satellite capabilities. As production systems become available, it is likely that LEO will become more commonplace on the vessels we support.|
|Cellular||hundreds of meters, sometimes more for less throughput||consideration||Varies by country||Internet and voice in worldwide ports||HiSeasNet is investigating a centrally supplied cellular uplink. With increasing pressure from 5G on the C-band spectrum , HiSeasNet anticipates the need for satellite systems to be secured in port and Cellular to take over.|