Seafarers’ invisible support.

International Day for Women in Maritime is celebrated every year on 18th of May. And we’d like to commend all the women working in the global maritime sector, supporting operations, both on shore and at sea. We look at the aspect of ship connectivity, the invisible link that keeps the ship and crew operational and safe, and our colleagues that make it happen.

A feature image for "Seafarers' invisible support" Article. On the image sea and the boat in the background.

The women keeping satellite communications on course.

One of the most significant benefits of recent years for seafarers, whether male or female, has been the increased availability of connectivity. Vessels including electric ferries, automated, and smart, ships are all entirely reliant on satellite communications in order to function. Similarly, cutting edge initiatives such as the Greensand Project which is capturing carbon and returning it to the seabed are dependent on “always-on” connectivity.

But it’s not only in terms of the operational and increasingly digitised aspects of maritime that seafarers have benefitted from greater satellite communications. Crew now have the opportunity to speak regularly to family and friends onshore, and enjoy video streaming and internet browsing, just as they would at home.

On this IMO International Day for Women in Maritime, Telenor Satellite would like to recognise those women who work so far in the background that seafarers are unaware of the vital role they play in their lives. The work they do is vital to keeping that connectivity on stream.

While the company’s satellites are termed as being geostationary, stationary is not strictly the correct way to describe them. In fact, albeit slowly, they are continually moving in relation to the earth and that is where our Flight Dynamics Manager, Hanne J K Skonnord comes in. She is responsible for planning station keeping manoeuvres for the satellites to keep their position in the geostationary arc to remain in constant touch with the antennas on the vessels.

Equally crucial is Lead Spacecraft Engineer Kristina Lärfars, she is one of a team of engineers who deal with any problems that arise with the operation of the satellite, taking the necessary action so that our clients never experience a dropped signal. One key aspect of this is ensuring that the satellite continues to transmit even during solar or lunar eclipses when it relies on battery power rather than its solar arrays.

So, wherever seafarers may be, whether that is fishing in the extreme conditions of the polar regions, supplying offshore oil and gas fields with necessary equipment and personnel, keeping cruise guests safe and entertained, operating renewable energy sources at sea, don’t forget the dedicated women working behind the scenes to make sure you remain connected to what matters most.