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Technology Update – e3 systems

Happy New Year to everyone from the whole e3 Team in Europe and the USA!

Like many of you, I travelled to visit family during the Christmas and New Year holidays and spent an inordinate amount of time filling in forms, taking Covid tests and self-isolating in order to do so.  However, in the preceding autumn months, I had already got my hand in by travelling around Europe and the USA.  With the new variants around, taking a test before you leave clearly makes the most sense.  I am much happier getting on an aircraft knowing everyone else on board has already had a negative test.  It seems to me that those countries which require negative tests both before departure and after arrival are simply trying to rip us off to line the pockets of the inefficient testing facilities in their own countries.

Let’s hope this all gets easier and more sensible during 2022.

English Harbour Antigua

The Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting was our final event at the end of 2021.  The Meeting returned this year after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic.  It was small and compact with only sixteen boats registered as the restrictions continue.  It was a challenge to organise, and I congratulate Paul Deeth and his team in having made it happen.

However, the rest of the docks in English and Falmouth Harbours gradually filled up with yachts, not officially at the Meeting, and in total there were about thirty yachts on the docks who were making Antigua their first stop-off point in the Caribbean for the start of the 2022 charter and race season.

Sharon Philips - e3 systems

Our US colleagues Sharon Phillips and Joel Koves were able to provide large number of these yachts with our very popular Big Data Caribbean 4G SIMs.  These SIMs can now be remotely reconfigured for use with our Big Data USA or Big Data Global service, so if a yacht has a random itinerary there is no need to deliver new physical SIMs.  And many yachts in Antigua already have our DirecTV Caribbean TVRO decoders installed with subscriptions active for the season ahead.  In addition, we were able to introduce some of the yachts currently using conventional VSAT to the Viasat VSAT service and our own eSAT Hybrid Communications Solution.

 

 

 

My Maritime and Marine Technology Predictions for 2022

I foresee that there will be some very interesting advances in alternative energy, alternative power generation systems for yachts, and in satellite communications.

Wave and Tidal Power

When I was at university, I spent a summer working under the guidance of Professor Stephen Salter on his famous wave power project that was designed to extract power from the waves.  It was called the Nodding Duck or alternatively the Edinburgh Duck. Unfortunately, the funding for that project was terminated by the UK Conservative government of the time in deference to the development of nuclear fuel and oil-fuelled energy.  This was back in the 80’s.  Imagine how much further ahead we would be now in terms of renewable energy if this had been working for the last 40 years…

Tidal_turbine

However, much to my delight I was pleased to see that the UK government announced in mid-November 2021 its biggest investment since then into tidal power. They will invest £20 million per year in Tidal Stream electricity as part of their renewable energy action scheme.  This will kickstart a new tidal energy industry and strengthen energy security by adding to the diversity of the existing alternative energy schemes of wind and solar to generate renewable electricity supplies for the UK, but also technology that can be used globally.

It’s also worth noting that here in Spain, more than half (51.5%) of total electricity generation nationwide comes from renewable technologies – that’s an impressive increase of 19.5% on 2020, and a trend which is set to rise each year.  Not surprisingly, the principal sources of renewable energy here are wind and solar – not much scope for tidal energy in the Med!

Fuel cells: Lürssen Yacht’s new concept 98m yacht Alice 

We have known for some time that Lürssen has been developing fuel cell technology to power their yachts of tomorrow, and at the end of last year they announced their concept yacht Alice which demonstrates the full capabilities, not just in power generation, but also in energy saving.  Alice is their roadmap for their future builds.

Alice promises to be “climate-neutral’.  When she is slowly cruising, she uses emission free fuel cells which generate electricity based on hydrogen reformed from green methanol which is said to provide up to a 1,000 nautical mile emission free range.

Her heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system has been designed to reduce and recover waste heat which is then used for onboard climate control. She has also been styled to use mirrored glass windows which not only provide privacy, but also acts as thermal insulation.

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications

earth-satellites

I have been providing technical updates about the new, up and coming, LEO satellite constellations for some years now.  We will see LEO connectivity come to life this year with the first yachts connecting to a high speed, low latency service using a marine antenna. I am cautiously optimistic with this news as we will be involved with the initial trials, and I will keep you informed throughout the year through this column and social media.

Most people will know about Elon Musk’s Starlink service that is already working on land in the USA and Europe with the area of coverage being extended continuously.  There is an unknown period to go before Starlink can be used offshore, as new satellites need to be launched with Inter Satellite Links (ISL), a Starlink maritime terminal is required, and onboard integration will be required.  We hope to be trialling with an already proven maritime terminals using the OneWeb LEO constellation, which will have northern hemisphere coverage by midsummer and will have full global coverage by early 2023.

Watch this space. The promise of LEO has been higher bandwidth and lower latency. In 2022 we will experience the reality so let’s see if it’s true!

Meet Daniel Gonzalez, Support Desk Engineer

Daniel_Gonzalez

I was born in Barcelona, that’s where I grew up and completed my degree in Electronic Engineering. I worked in many different companies but none of them attracted me especially. I couldn´t find a sector in which to develop professionally so I decided to travel, firstly doing a Leonardo Da Vinci internship in Ireland, and then the following year I did an EVS (European Volunteer Service) in Portugal and after this, I began to think about taking a different direction in my career.

Even though I grew up in Barcelona, the place where I truly found my professional vocation is Mallorca. I started in the nautical industry specializing in navigation equipment with Estay Electronics and later Horizon Marine Electronics; step by step I gradually returned to working in the field of my professional studies.

It is a great challenge to work with superyachts, as you must be very aware of the smallest detail and the demand of the market means you need to be at the forefront of technological development and systems. However, on the other hand you can still occasionally find equipment in which you have to dust off a manual from 20 years ago, because there are still boats that have such a robust system that it never fails!

It has been thanks to e3 Systems that I have gotten into the field of telecommunications, and I have to say that it is truly exciting. The support helpdesk engineer position is not easy.  On many occasions, remote work makes troubleshooting difficult, but it is appreciated that our customers always help us as much as possible.  And of course, I thank my colleagues, who have made my adaptation to e3 really fast, and I feel very integrated into the team.

But I’m not thinking about work all the time, and in my free time I love to hike the mountains. The mountains of Mallorca are especially magical, even although the island is undoubtedly better known for its beaches.

I also like to paint pictures, although it is sometimes difficult for me to find inspiration.

Roger Horner

For further info on e3 VSAT and SUPER DATA

e3 systems

+34 971 404 208

info@e3s.com

www.e3s.com 

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