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Iridium and Thales Chosen to Connect the Mayflower Autonomous Ship

By | May 28, 2021

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship equipped with an Iridium Certus terminal. Photo: IBM/Promare

Iridium and Thales Group will provide connectivity for the Mayflower, a fully autonomous vessel, that will sail on a transatlantic research mission this year. The companies announced May 27 that they have been selected as the Mayflower’s communications partner, but did not disclose a dollar value for the deal. 

The Mayflower is an autonomous ship led by marine research non-profit ProMare and IBM, which will travel the same route as the original 17th century Mayflower. It will collect environmental data regarding climate change, ocean acidity, plastic pollution, marine mammal conservation, and more. The Mayflower is set to leave on its journey this June. 

The Mayflower will be equipped with a Thales VesseLINK 700 terminal powered by Iridium Certus broadband connectivity which can help remotely manage vessel operations including command and control, tracking, and propulsion system diagnostics. 

“The Thales VesseLINK 700 powered by Iridium Certus onboard the Mayflower Autonomous Ship provides essential connectivity to backhaul vital science data in real time from Mayflower autonomous ship to our team of ocean and climate experts onshore. Equally important, it lets us check in with the Artificial Intelligence captain to see how it’s coping at sea and making myriad decisions every day to safely navigate the trip across the Atlantic,” said Brett Phaneuf, managing director of the Mayflower.