iDirect’s De­nis Suther­land con­sid­ers HTS and the ca­pac­ity to ac­com­mo­date off­shore O& G

The adop­tion of HTS in the oil and gas mar­ket will be im­pacted by the cost of the ser­vice com­pared to the up­time and avail­abil­ity that can be de­liv­ered.

OffComm News - - CONTENTS - De­nis Suther­land, iDirect

More than two Tbps of HTS ( high through­out satel­lite) ca­pac­ity is pro­jected to fill the sky over the next 10 years. This should pro­vide a wel­come op­por­tu­nity for the off­shore oil and gas sec­tor, where through­put de­mand con­tin­ues to es­ca­late, says De­nis Suther­land, se­nior man­ager, sales sys­tem en­gi­neer­ing, iDirect. Off­shore rigs and plat­forms around the world re­main heavy users of voice, video, and data ap­pli­ca­tions, ul­ti­mately driv­ing up the av­er­age con­sump­tion of band­width. Be it: ap­pli­ca­tions con­nect­ing rigs with on­shore pro­duc­tion teams; safety ap­pli­ca­tions and equip­ment mon­i­tor­ing to track op­er­a­tions; or per­sonal con­nec­tions for crew wel­fare, this grow­ing use of data presents a ser­vice chal­lenge that net­work op­er­a­tors will need to face in the near fu­ture. Both Ku- band and C- band have served the oil and gas off­shore mar­ket for a num­ber of years. C- band is the most re­li­able choice for op­er­a­tions where up­time is a must, but is also the most ex­pen­sive choice per site. Ku- band is more cost- ef­fec­tive and is the most de­ployed satel­lite so­lu­tion in the mar­ket. It is used in many ar­eas where weather has less im­pact on per­for­mance. HTS will add new ca­pac­ity and ser­vices launched in the higher fre­quency known as Ka- band, where more ca­pac­ity is avail­able. This fre­quency has the most avail­able spec­trum for use, and re­quires smaller hard­ware, but is more sus­cep­ti­ble to rain fade in­ter­fer­ence.

Im­pact­ing the cost of the ser­vice

The adop­tion of HTS in the oil and gas mar­ket will be im­pacted by the cost of the ser­vice com­pared to the up­time and avail­abil­ity that can be de­liv­ered. In trop­i­cal ar­eas closer to the equa­tor, C- band ser­vices will still have a strong role to play as rain fade could im­pact the re­li­a­bil­ity of the ser­vice. In mar­kets where the weather has less of an im­pact, you will see Ku- band ~ and now the in­creased use of HTS ~ to meet the ex­pand­ing ap­pli­ca­tion re­quire­ments that are driv­ing up band­width. Many of the satel­lite ser­vice providers, sup­port­ing cus­tomers in th­ese chal­leng­ing off­shore en­vi­ron­ments, will use all of th­ese dif­fer­ent beams to de­liver ap­pro­pri­ate ser­vices re­gard­ing the up­time re­quire­ments of their clients.

The last word

New HTS satel­lites, with smaller fo­cused spot beams, will of­fer greater through­put. But they will need the ground in­fra­struc­ture to make sure the re­li­a­bil­ity, up­time, and speed of the ser­vice is de­liv­ered, as well as meet­ing the ser­vice level agree­ments be­ing of­fered by the ser­vice providers. iDirect, as an in­fra­struc­ture man­u­fac­turer, con­tin­ues to de­velop its plat­form to support con­nec­tiv­ity on any band, on mul­ti­ple satel­lites. While HTS will of­fer the band­width to ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing con­nec­tiv­ity re­quire­ments for off­shore ex­plo­ration and pro­duc­tion, re­li­a­bil­ity of the ser­vice will re­main key for this mar­ket.

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