RDI's Satcom I Communications System Approved By INMARSAT

RDI's Satcom I Maritime Satellite Communications System has been awarded complete type approval following extensive testing by INMARSAT of London, the International Maritime Satellite Communications Organization. This type approval designation allows RDI to install its system on ships, fishing boats, and pleasure vessels worldwide.

RDI, San Leandro, Calif., is one of a handful of companies throughout the world that have been awarded this approval. They have been an innovative force in the maritime electronics business for over 10 years, creating advanced products incorporating patented technologies so valuable that they are now part of international maritime regulations.

Their success is made possible by unique funding through tax-advantaged R&D general partnerships.

The Satcom I system was developed with funds raised through the Maritime Reseach Group (MRG) III partnership.

The Satcom I provides full telex and telephone communications to ships at sea via a satellite system accessible almost anywhere on the globe. Other available services include data fascimile, computer-tocomputer data transfer, and slow scan television. Unlike traditional maritime communications, the Satcom I allows instant telex and voice communications in complete privacy with quality equal to that of terrestrial- based telephone systems, and is unaffected by any adverse atmospheric conditions.

The Satcom I offers the most advanced features at an affordable price of $29,995. Full screen CRT word processing, automatic dialing procedures and instantaneous transmission of memory telexes are some of the advantages offered by the Satcom I. It is the easiest to use satellite communicator on the market with a unique prompting soft key design that provides one-key operation for almost all functions and prevents invalid commands. All operating functions may be performed at a remote telephone, providing full system operation at remote locations, independent of the operator's console. The single cable between the electronics unit and the antenna contributes to Satcom I's one day installation, saving shipowners valuable time.

In anticipation of INMARSAT type approval, Satcom I systems have been installed on two ships of the Dansk Esso fleet, the Esso Elsinor and Esso Danica. Future installations include a system at AWA Australasia. Shipments began in September of this year.

The INMARSAT system consists of three satellites in geostationary orbit 22,370 miles above the equator kept in fixed position relative to the earth's surface by special control and command facilities. Each of the three satellites has a fixed zone of coverage together forming three communications regions, the Atlantic Ocean Region (AOR), Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the Pacific Ocean Region (POR).

One of the developments in the INMARSAT System is the Future Global Maritime Distress & Safety System (FGMDSS). This system coordinates the Distress Coordination Center of each ocean area and the ship polling (automatic information gathering) feature that collects and stores information from each ship such as its position, course, speed and local weather. When any distress call is made the ship's position is determined and the closest vessel to the ship in distress is automatically alerted and the two ships are connected.

RDI's Larry Anderson says, "We are committed to R&D, because we realize our customers rely on our equipment and systems for precise safe and economical ship handling. That concept is respected and reflected in every piece of equipment that carries the RDI name." For further information on RDI's Communications System, Circle 15 on Reader Service Card

Other stories from September 1984 issue


Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.