Inmarsat, AST and Harvest team up to connect remote maintenance, service teams

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A new agreement between Inmarsat, Harvest Technology Group and Inmarsat Partner AST will provide Harvest’s customers across the mining, energy and utilities sectors with the tools to remotely monitor assets, coordinate site surveys and conduct maintenance operations over real-time video and audio transmitted via ultra-low-bandwidth satellite communications, Inmarsat says.

These sectors are facing increasing pressure to maintain vital infrastructure and equipment while safeguarding workers, all in the most cost-effective way possible, the company says. With global travel restrictions and sustainability challenges now impacting many organisations, pressure is also mounting to allow personnel in remote locations to be connected live back to base, the office or home to enable simultaneous review and decision making worldwide.

“The alliance will bring greater functionality to Harvest’s ‘data-anywhere’ solutions, which can transmit high-quality synchronised video and audio across an extremely low bandwidth,” Inmarsat says. “Harvest’s popular Wearwolf™ wearable headset solution enables remote workers to communicate directly with technicians, engineers and site managers who may be located across different continents simultaneously in real time, from the comfort of their offices or homes, so removing the need to travel.”

From a connectivity standpoint, the Wearwolf solution allows high-data-rate streaming of video and audio over satellite by wirelessly connecting to Inmarsat’s Explorer 710 BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) terminal.

“Our global connectivity services are underpinned by the world’s most reliable satellite communications network, which is the backbone for maritime, aviation and land safety services throughout the world,” Inmarsat says. “This ensures that any type of survey, inspection or maintenance procedure can be experienced through the eyes and ears of the crews on the ground and directed by technicians and engineers as if they were on site, from anywhere in the world.”

Steven Tompkins, Director of Sector Development at Inmarsat, said: “The energy, utilities and mining sectors have all harnessed the benefits of global satellite communications to maintain safe and efficient operations for a number of years. However, these challenges have been exacerbated by global restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which means that there has never been a greater need for affordable solutions that help organisations collaborate, work together and improve operations, no matter where they are located.

“By developing a wearable solution that supports our High Data Rate streaming capabilities across a low-bandwidth connection, Harvest is facilitating highly efficient, safe, cost-effective and sustainable site surveys of pipelines and valuable assets across industrial sites in remote areas around the world. We are excited about the huge potential of this agreement and how it will change the way industrial professionals communicate and collaborate, no matter where they are located.”

Gregory Darling, Managing Director of AST, added: “AST is delighted to partner with Harvest and Inmarsat to provide real-time video and audio solutions cost effectively through our secure global INTEGRA network from anywhere in the world. The alliance supports our vision to continuously empower our customers with dependable solutions that improve their operational efficiency, reduce their health and safety risk and minimise their carbon footprint.”

Harvest’s Managing Director, Paul Guilfoyle, said the alliance will not only allow for the implementation of existing technology, but will further “fuel the innovation for future cutting-edge communication initiatives”.

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