Technology to the rescue

Maritime communication

Ships Electronic Services
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Ships Electronic Services, a market leader in maritime communication and navigation electronics, recently won the coveted Applied Satellite Engineering Innovation Award – highlighting the need for effective communication in dangerous waters


The award was presented to Peter Merchant, technical support co-ordinator for Ships Electronic Services (SES), by Ken Coffey, international managing director of Applied Satellite Engineering (ASE), in recognition of his innovative contribution to the installation of the ASE Citadel Satellite Communication Solution − the first time someone outside ASE has been presented with the award.


SES was tasked by a major commercial customer to tailor a secure communications solution that could be utilised on a vessel in the event of a pirate attack. Combining his knowledge of the customer’s vessels and sourcing an appropriate ASE secure system, Merchant worked closely with Coffey and his technical team to produce a specific citadel communications system required for anti-piracy. The final system incorporated easy installation, global coverage – which included voice, data and SMS capabilities – a small antenna profile, and multiple phone lines from one system.


Merchant commented in an official press release: “I’m delighted to accept this award in recognition of the input we had in the ASE Citadel Satellite Communication System and pleased the final solution met our customer’s requirements. We are pleased that SES’s contribution made the ASE system viable for anti-piracy use, but this could not have been achieved without the positive and enthusiastic attitude of the ASE team who helped enormously to meet the end user requirements.”

Managing director of SES Stephen Roper said: “This award highlights SES’s ability to create innovative solutions by listening to the needs of our customers and understanding their necessary requirements. We have an excellent, highly experienced team of technicians and engineers, including Merchant, who continually work at sourcing the best solutions for our wide range of customers.”

Said Coffey, “The citadel is proving to be an extremely effective method of thwarting marine piracy, and the incorporation of this method on ships has steadily increased in recent years. 

“Nato [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] guidelines published last year state they will only respond to an act of piracy if the crew is gathered inside the citadel and if they have a satellite phone with an open line. Working with SES, we have developed a solution that also incorporates GPS, so the exact location of the ship can be pinpointed. Peter’s solutions were invaluable in creating this highly innovative system and we are thrilled that we can acknowledge this with the award.”
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