Speedcast, has conducted systems deployments for the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) to improve overall communications capabilities at multiple research sites in Antarctica. Based in Kingston, Tasmania, the AAD operates year-round stations in Antarctica and depends on Speedcast connectivity to complete research, send data and keep in touch with the rest of the world while operating from the southernmost continent. The AAD represents a sector of the Australian Government delivering the Australian Antarctic Program.
The systems deployments are part of an ongoing, strategic program demonstrating the strong partnership between AAD and Speedcast. Applying learnings from Speedcast’s recently deployed communications solution on AAD’s resupply and icebreaker vessel, the RSV Nuyina, AAD will establish best practices for ensuring the highest levels of connectivity across their land-based sites. Providing the flexibility of a multi-path telecommunications platform, Speedcast’s SD-WAN and TrueBeam smart network management solutions are being delivered to meet AAD’s remote communications requirements, while also facilitating growth opportunities for the future, including the ability to add LEO services.
As part of the agreement, the existing primary communications system is being enhanced, along with the supply, implementation, and commissioning of a secondary solution at AAD’s three Antarctic research stations and on Macquarie Island. These connectivity needs are primarily driven by AAD’s work health and safety program, as the research stations are in extremely remote locations on ice. As the environment presents dangerous conditions for personnel, site access for AAD staff is only provisioned during the summer season. While unmanned in the winter, if the primary communications system is unavailable for any reason, the sites could be relegated to having no data collection or communications capabilities for months until the summer season returns. A secondary communications link ensures that the remote sites have an extra layer of safety and redundancy.
“Speedcast’s communications solution for AAD delivers exciting technology innovation and network automation to keep their remote research stations connected, ensuring 100% uptime at the end of the Earth,” said James Trevelyan, Senior Vice President of Enterprise and Emerging Markets at Speedcast. “Since joining forces as AAD’s connectivity partner, we’ve been able to offer a solution to increase their network capacity 100-fold. The research stations systems deployments enable the delivery of a strong workplace health and safety program for AAD’s highly skilled personnel who spend extended periods of time in the very harsh, remote site locations, conducting critical scientific research efforts.”