Marine communication systems are used to provide communication between ships, boats, and other vessels, as well as between vessels and shore-based stations.
These systems include both wired and wireless communications systems, and can be used for a variety of purposes, including navigation, safety, and operations.
VHF marine radio: The most common type of marine radio is the VHF (very high frequency) marine radio, which is used for both ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications.
VHF radios operate in the frequency range of 156 to 174 MHz and have a range of around 20 to 25 nautical miles.
They allow for voice communication, DSC (Digital Selective Calling) for distress signals, and also for AIS (Automatic Identification System) that provides location and vessel information to other vessels and shore stations.
Single sideband radio: SSB (Single Sideband) radios are used for long-range communication, typically beyond the range of VHF radios. They operate in the frequency range of 2 to 30 MHz and can have a range of several thousand miles depending on the conditions.
SSB radios are used for both voice and text communications, including weather forecasts and navigation information.
Inmarsat: Inmarsat is a global communications system that provides voice, data and internet connectivity to ships, offshore platforms and other remote locations.
Inmarsat operates a fleet of geostationary satellites and uses a variety of frequency bands to provide communication services. There are several services offered such as FleetBroadband, Classic Aero, Maritime Safety, and many others.
Iridium: Iridium is another satellite-based communications system that provides voice, data and internet connectivity to ships, offshore platforms and other remote locations.
It uses a constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and offers several services such as Iridium Pilot, Iridium OpenPort, Iridium Push-to-Talk and others.
AIS: Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a system that uses VHF radio frequencies to transmit location, course, and speed information between ships and shore-based stations. AIS is intended to increase safety and improve navigation by providing real-time vessel tracking information.
Marine communication systems are critical for the safe and efficient operation of vessels, and must meet and regulations.
It is also important for vessels to have backup communication methods in case of emergency or equipment failure.