Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Inmarsat have formed an industry-first collaboration between a satellite communications provider and a classification society to provide a connectivity solution aimed at addressing challenges experienced during remote surveys.
The collaboration follows an increased uptake in remote services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic as access to ships and assets became more challenging. The solution is currently being piloted by LR and Inmarsat with clients specialising in gas carriers and bulkers.
It uses LR Remote, a specifically engineered application for remote inspection that enables crewmembers to livestream video, photos and audio from onboard a ship to an LR technical specialist located elsewhere. LR Remote is empowered by Inmarsat’s certified application provider (CAP) bandwidth service called Fleet Connect, that provides a dedicated satellite link between vessels and seafarers, offering users function-specific bandwidth that is independent of business-critical vessel operations or crew communications.
With no additional communication hardware required to run this application, the separation allows LR Remote to be enabled remotely without any intervention on-site. According to LR, this approach provides flexibility and 24/7 availability which enables surveyors to perform surveys, reducing the impact of unexpected situations on vessel operations, where surveyors and crew can quickly navigate problems using remote technology.
LR and Inmarsat believe that the new solution is another step towards digital class, opening opportunities for future uses of vessel data in demonstrating compliance and driving deeper insight into vessel efficiency and fleet optimisation.
“Connectivity is a significant enabler in the digitalisation of the maritime industry. Both Lloyd’s Register and Inmarsat have a mutual goal of unlocking the true potential of technology, thereby transforming remote compliance and enabling digital class. This collaboration ensures our vast certification expertise is accessible anywhere it is needed,” said Mark Darley, LR marine and offshore director.
LR has offered remote survey capability for many years, and now, one in three of over 30,000 surveys it performs each year is completed remotely.