Seastationary sattelites

Until recently, ships have been quite silent...

  There were silent almost all history just the modern times brought the radio and the possibility of communication with the shore or with other ships. Later the communication via satellites added deep sea communications.

The ships become more talkative now and the future looks quite noisy, the Vodafone white paper “”Near Shore Connectivity” (reference [1]) estimates a 2.5 times increase in the volume of data generated by ships in general in the near future.

This noise won’t be just white signal but sensible data what could be categorized in:

· Time-critical data;

· Non-time-critical data;

· Social-critical data (crew related).

Time critical data and in a certain extent the social-critical data requests constant connectivity but the non-time-critical data may never leave the ship or could be downloaded whilst the ship is in harbour or nearby coasts. 

Increased automation and autonomy may switch non-time-critical data into time-critical data same the adoption of IoT (reference [2]) therefore the need for qualitative deep sea connectivity will increase.  

Apparently, the satellites, in a form or other, the actual VSAT or maybe the new 5G satellites (reference [3]) will remain at the heart of deep-sea vessel operations and safety.  

Is this statement final? Nothing could change? Is this an immutable situation?


Geostationary and Seastationary

On 25th of May 1945, Sir Arthur C. Clarke launched the idea of geostationary satellites making possible the start of a great revolution.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke looked at the starts but I dare to look back on the Earth and more precisely on seas and oceans.

Vodafone’s white paper (ref. [1]) makes a point for using more intensively when ship is harbour or in the coverage coastal areas the cheaper and improved performances inshore solutions.

My question to you is why not bringing the inshore solutions into the deep seas?

What was not around when Sir Arthur C. Clarke proposed the geostationary satellites were the subsea communications cables?

The bottom of the seas and oceans is wired and the density of the subsea network increases at a steady pace. Reference [5] provides an up-to-date map and it is no surprise that this network overlaps well with the major navigation routes.

So let's go back from earth back on Earth and more precisely on seas and oceans.

The subsea communication network could represent the source of signal for seastationary floating antennas what maybe could provide the same cheap and qualitative connectivity as inshore.

Could a simple idea chance an immutable situation?


Could provide the seastationary satellites redundancy to the net… just in case a shark bites the cable? (see reference [6])   


  The first picture was shot by Ramona Popa. 

Thank you Ramona! 

The second picture of this post is a detail of the cover page of the Vodafone’s white paper “”Near Shore Connectivity” (reference [1]). 

Thank you very much Vodafone Roaming for allowing me to use this picture.


Marius Popa, futureoftheocean team

Contact futureoftheocean:

If you have ideas about the future of the oceans or our future in general, please don't hesitate contacting the futureoftheocean team at