InmarsatÂ has provided communications supportÂ to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-led teamÂ in efforts toÂ break a channel ofÂ Antarctic sea ice to help ships deliver supplies to aÂ U.S. research center located on Ross Island.
Operation Deep Freeze 2016 used theÂ U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star to create aÂ “superhighway”Â that will allowÂ oil tankers and cargoÂ ships to resupplyÂ fuel and food itemsÂ toÂ the McMurdo Research Station, InmarsatÂ said Wednesday.
“We are pleased to have risen to the occasion and helped with this important mission,”Â Â saidÂ Kai Tang,Â vice presidentÂ of market development at Inmarsat’s U.S. government business.
NOAA’s personnel aboard the Polar Star workedÂ to collectÂ and transmit data fromÂ images and videos collected from anÂ AeroVironment-built Puma All Environment unmannedÂ aerial vehicle.
The missionÂ team also leveragedÂ Inmarsat’s satellite communications technology to exchange dataÂ with command centers in Antarctica and in North America as well asÂ facilitate collaboration betweenÂ Puma AE operators and airÂ traffic controllersÂ during the two-month long mission.
“Even as the rough seas caused major rolling while crossing the southern ocean on the Polar Star, and wind levels grew severe, the ship maintained connectivity thanks to the Inmarsat satellite system,” Tang added.