e3 Systems completes unusual installation on 33m catamaran

Maritime satellite communications provider and Cobham SATCOM partner e3 Systems, has announced the successful installation of a unique duel SAILOR 800 VSAT system on board the 60 degree rotating mast of a 33.3m catamaran.

The catamaran’s mast is designed to rotate 30 degrees to port and starboard, a design choice for many multihull yachts taken to enhance downwind performance in addition to sail handling. This posed a challenge for e3’s antenna installation engineers because the antenna heading will change from the boat's heading, which if not accounted for can cause loss of service.

Danny Remkes, e3 Systems’ engineering manager in Mallorca and lead installer for the project in France explained further, “The challenge was to provide a heading reference relative to the actual heading of the mast. This needed to be a simple reliable solution with the accuracy required by the dual antenna installation. We engineered a compact fluxgate compass to the underside of the carbon fibre antenna bracket, having tested the accuracy and any effect from the movement of the SAILOR 800 VSATs. This combination achieved the perfect solution for this specific application.

“Size, weight and power consumption are all vital considerations for any sailing yacht, especially when the installation requires a dual antenna system. However, Cobham SATCOM’s approach to delivery and a system design aimed at installation convenience, helped to ensure a quick, successful project, even on such a challenging job.”

The 83cm SAILOR 800 VSAT system was chosen for the installation as it provides comparable radio performance to antennas in the 1m category, yet is much smaller, lighter and less power hungry. The dual system ensures high system redundancy and service availability should line of sight of a single antenna to the satellite be obstructed.

For more information visit e3 Systems