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Speedcast to Supply VSAT Comms to Antarctic Research Centers

By | October 31, 2017
      The Mawson research station in Antarctica. Photo: Government of Australia/Chris Wilson.

      The Mawson research station in Antarctica. Photo: Government of Australia/Chris Wilson.

      Speedcast International has won a multi-year, multimillion-dollar contract with an Australian government department conducting world-class scientific and environmental research in Antarctica. Per the contract, the company will support the Australian Antarctic program with mission-critical communications to the outside world.

      Speedcast will provide Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) bandwidth, equipment and installation including training, antenna upgrades and repositioning, and network optimization. Speedcast will also provide additional support to other scientific users such as Geoscience Australia at the three Australian Antarctic research stations, Mawson, Casey and Davis, as well as the base on Macquarie Island. With the updates Speedcast is making to the satellite links, the research program will have four times more throughput than it had with their previous provider once installations are completed in January 2018.

      While there may be up to 120 people on each research station in the summer, during the harsh winters of Antarctica when travel to the icy continent is not possible, the population of each research station is much smaller and satellite communication is their only link to the outside world. The reliability of these links is essential for the well-being of wintering expeditioners and enables telemedicine support if required.

      “This win is an example of the increase in government spending in satellite communications and Speedcast’s ability to grow market share as the government segment continues to expand,” said Speedcast Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pierre-Jean Beylier.