The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organisation that aims to remove plastic from oceans, has selected Iridium Communications as its preferred satellite communications services provider.
Under the deal, Iridium will provide L-band satellite broadband services in collaboration with its service provider, The AST Group.
The Iridium broadband terminals will receive data from a set of sensors and data-gathering equipment hosted by each floating plastic collecting system deployed by Ocean Cleanup.
Ocean Cleanup’s headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, will receive the data, including compartment flood detection, position and location information, pictures and others, in real-time.
The service is supported by a constellation of 66 interconnected low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites of Iridium.
Iridium Communications CEO Matt Desch said: “A reliable, predictable and redundant communication network, that can work despite adverse weather conditions is critically important to this system, and that’s when the Iridium network really shines.
“When the oceans aren’t cooperating and several foot waves and powerful winds are causing havoc, the Iridium system will help make sure The Ocean Cleanup understands the operational status of each floating screen in the fleet.”
The Ocean Cleanup’s plastic collecting system comprises a 600m-long floating screen that includes a 3m-deep skirt.
The system is designed to use a combination of wind, waves, natural ocean currents to collect plastics.
Each of the floating screens of the system is equipped with two Iridium broadband terminals. Once the system is fully deployed with a fleet of 60 floating screens, there will be 120 Iridium broadband terminals on-board the system.
Earlier this month, The Ocean Cleanup launched its first system at the San Francisco Bay, US, to extract plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.