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Fastwave Integrates Wireless Underwater Network Technology With Iridium

Illustration of an Iridium satellite.
Perth, Australia (SPX) Oct 25, 2005
Satellite telemetry system specialist, Fastwave Communications, based in Perth, Western Australia, has developed a global solution for transmitting near real time, 2-way data from wireless sub-sea sensors and control systems.

Fastwave specialises in developing integrated solutions for controlling, monitoring and tracking remote fixed or mobile assets, using the Iridium Satellite constellation of 66 low earth orbit satellites.

Iridium's unique Short Burst Data telemetry system provides global, 2-way, near real time data capability, using compact, low powered terminal equipment. Oil and gas subsea process control, environmental monitoring, oceanographic data gathering, seismic monitoring, water resource management, aquaculture and defense surveillance are typical applications that have growing requirements for data access from wireless underwater systems.

Wireless underwater networks are evolving rapidly to meet this demand, but their capacity to provide end-to-end data delivery to end users has been limited by a lack of integration with conventional communication systems.

Fastwave director, Nick Daws, said "delivering data from underwater wireless systems from the surface back to the end user in a timely and cost efficient manner has been difficult, due to the lack of a suitable communication channel to relay the data, especially from remote locations.

The Iridium Short Burst Data telemetry system, with its ability to relay data from any location on the planet, including small floating platforms such as buoys, provides the missing link for integrating onshore, vessel or platform based monitoring and control systems with underwater wireless networks" Recognising this potential, Fastwave has formed an alliance with DSP Comm, also of Perth. DSP Comm is a developer and manufacturer of advanced, low cost acoustic modems designed for wireless underwater data networks.

The company's Aquacomm modems are designed for operation in extremely harsh conditions, and are in use for defence, research and commercial applications globally. The Aquacomm system, which uses the latest digital signal processing and broadband communications technology, are capable of through water data transmission of up to 3 km.

By eliminating the need for expensive umbilical cables and diver or ROV intervention, the benefits of wireless underwater networks are well established. Fastwave's integration with the Iridium system significantly enhances their value by making data available to users anywhere in the world within seconds, and eliminating or reducing the need to send out vessels to retrieve data.

Fastwave integrates its own microprocessor, data logger and embedded software with the Iridium equipment so that underwater data can be logged at the remote end if required, and alarms sent to multiple users or locations if thresholds are exceeded. The 2-way capability enables commands to be sent back to the remote installation, or to download logged data on demand.

"We are confident that this solution will reduce the cost of acquiring subsea data, enhance the value of the data through near real time availability and facilitate the development of new underwater monitoring and control applications."

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Iridium Names New Value-Added Partner Companies For Specialized Applications
Bethesda MD (SPX) Sep 30, 2005
Iridium Satellite announced Monday the appointment of Tallahassee Technologies as value-added manufacturer, and Global Marine Networks and Global Technology as new value-added developers .

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