Castor Marine has outfitted Wagenborg Offshore’s fourth Walk-to-Work (W2W) vessel ‘Koenigsborg’ with a seamless connectivity installation. The VSAT internet and Tampnet 4G connectivity solution provide the crew with continuous communications channels when working on offshore assets, real-time reporting options to onshore teams and, of course, leisure use in downtime. Castor Marine was also contracted for long-term maintenance, including providing and managing the (Wi-Fi) network.
Conversion: from PSV to W2W
Wagenborg Offshore, a subsidiary of Royal Wagenborg, was operating a fleet of three Walk-to-Work vessels when it decided last year to add a fourth ship. The company chose to convert a PSV at Royal Niestern Sander shipyard, the Netherlands, in just 6 months’ time. The vessel would need to be able to perform multiple offshore support roles and include extra accommodation for housing 40 people.
Now that Wagenborg has taken it into service in April, the Koenigsborg is deployed in many ways. Firstly, it is a W2W accommodation vessel for platform maintenance tasks. Secondly, it is a Standby & Support Vessel (SSV). Last, it is certified to serve as an Emergency Response & Rescue Vessel (ERRV), expanding its operations with rescue work and emergency towing or patrol duties.
In addition to the 40-person accommodation module, the ship is equipped with an infirmary, reception rooms, a decontamination room, a recovery room, and a motion-compensated gangway. A daughter craft and a fast rescue boat ensure that rescue activities can also be carried out in adverse weather.
Efficient offshore connectivity
For Oil, Gas and Offshore Wind companies to carry out their work safely and cost-efficiently, the crew and additional maintenance or rescue staff need seamless internet connectivity, 24/7, for smooth operations and exchanging information with clients, suppliers, and HQ – especially in emergency situations. Of course, internet access is also about quality of life for crew members, i.e., staying connected families and friends.
Satellite service provider Castor Marine updated Koenigborg’s communications systems to match the demands required by the remoteness of offshore operations and extreme weather conditions. A connectivity system that is dependable and always-on is essential for those monitoring or repairing components on offshore platforms and for reporting back to shore teams. The company says it is proud to have been entrusted again by Wagenborg to handle this project.
Castor Marine chose Intellian as the preferred satellite communication technology onboard. Reliability is key and the solution consists of a VSAT internet connectivity system and an Iridium Certus L-band back-up system. This includes a dual Intellian v100NX setup, accompanied with an Intellian C700 Iridium Certus terminal and an Intellian t100W satellite TV system. The v100NX antennas are equipped with a high-power 25W Ku-band BUC to achieve higher upload speeds. Note that these represent the latest in antenna technology.
The dual-antenna configuration overcomes potential blockage issues, while the integrated AptusNX control software provides users with an intuitive web interface for antenna diagnosis. The Tampet 4G service (4G LTE network on the North Sea) is used for low-latency applications when the Koenigsborg is within the coverage of LTE network.
Castor Marine is the very first in the world to install the high performance Ponyting Omni-902 LTE/5G Antennas. The antennas have a high performance and are designed for all-weather conditions in harsh conditions on sea. As an LTE/5G modem is a dual Fortinet FortiExtender 511 used to provide high availability and advanced threat protection.
Castor Marine supports and manages Wagenborg Offshore’s SD-WAN routers centrally, which is ideal for monitoring, performing changes and software upgrades. Besides the SD-WAN Castor Marine also manages and support the SD-LAN on the vessels based on Fortinet equipment.
In plain words: the offshore internet system, both hardware and software, ensure that the crew always have the necessary bandwidth for all requirements.