Marlink enables 250 Mbps uplink for geophysical company PGS to gather critical offshore data


Marlink, the smart network and digital solutions company, has upgraded the smart hybrid VSAT installation on the seismic research vessel Ramform Hyperion to provide an uplink speed of more than 250 megabits per second (Mbps) using GEO VSAT.

This throughput was achieved to enable the transfer of seismic data from the vessel to its landside headquarters for processing in real time. The increase in capability and efficiency for the vessel’s network reflects the very high value of the exploration 3D, high-density 3D or 4D undersea imaging it produces.

Using a bespoke engineering approach, Marlink’s in-house team of engineers designed a technical solution based on a 2.4m VSAT antenna, enabling seamless transfer of 2.7 terrabytes of data from ship to shore in 24 hours. Longer term, the solution was able to provide an average capacity of more than 230 Mbps upload from the vessel.

The data transfer was achieved using Marlink’s network of high throughput GEO satellites, with the focus on delivering data at the required speed specifically to shore. Beyond theoretical specifications, the trial aimed to evaluate the real-world performance of VSAT services in a dynamic maritime environment. Factors such as signal stability, latency, and adaptability to varying weather conditions were integral to the assessment.

The achieved throughput easily surpassed that possible on LEO services and demonstrates the performance possible using GEO VSAT to provide a guaranteed quality of service. The hybrid network also provides a global service without geofencing to territories and locations.

“For operators like PGS, the pursuit of cutting-edge technology that can create the highest possible operational efficiency is paramount and a vision we share,”said Tore Morten Olsen, President Maritime, Marlink. “This ground-breaking collaboration marks a significant milestone for the maritime industry, signifying a paradigm shift in upload-speeds for geophysical survey operations at sea.”

“Operating in a highly demanding and specialised sector, our demands are for partners who are willing to push the boundaries of what is possible today and tomorrow,” said Erik Ewig, SVP Technology & Digitalization, PGS. “The real-time data transfer achieved on Ramform Hyperion has transformative implications for our ability to quickly move large volumes of seismic data from vessels to the cloud and start imaging the seismic data in parallel with ongoing data acquisition.”