JET Engineering System Solutions has deployed its most advanced buoy yet to deliver 5G enabled offshore connectivity and data collection. JET-4 Babel is a floating 5G base station platform, meaning that it transmits coverage for devices to connect to, increasing the distance from the shore that 5G signal can be established.
Existing 5G infrastructure is limited around the UK coast. Absence of even a simple phone signal has huge safety implications around our shorelines and in the water, not to mention the lack of access to benefits that enhanced connectivity offers businesses and people in those areas. This is usually because mobile networks are focus foremost on providing connections to urban areas with a larger number of users.
Recent research from initiatives like the Dorset Council led 5G RuralDorset project have proven the need for 5G to enable essential safety, environmental, and efficiency considerations for those living and working in rural, coastal, and offshore settings.
JET’s floating network solution extends the capabilities that 5G enables from the shore out into the sea, as well as providing a platform for a multitude of data collection and live streaming to users elsewhere, either as raw data or through a user-friendly dashboard. The unique technology enabling this is hosted on buoys which are deployed exactly where they are required.
This particular deployment demonstrated JET-4 Babel establishing a 5G connection out on the water which JET-3 Arial connected to. Footage from Arial’s subsurface cameras was then streamed in real time back across the network to the team. This proof of concept allows JET to provide the first fully functional floating 5G network at sea, which can extend for miles offshore, providing high bandwidth with high-speed delivery across significant distances.
The deployment of Babel was supported by funding from DCMS via the 5G RuralDorset project, with which JET also collaborated on its previous deployment of Arial.
The technology on board Babel was rapidly scaled to meet the demand of the offshore wind sector, including the creation of the base station platform which has enabled this major milestone in JET’s route to market. These developments were funded by the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) and further supported by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Launch Academy.
The JET team has also been fortunate to have participated in the Net Zero Technology Centre’s TechX Clean Energy Accelerator programme which has aided significant business growth.
James Thomas, CEO at JET Engineering, said: “I am incredibly proud of the JET team for the world leading work they have done to make 5G at sea a reality. Having founded the company in 2020 we have been limited to doing a lot of development work remotely, and this deployment brought the perfect opportunity to bring the team together on the boat to see the buoy launched. Watching the buoy-to-buoy communications with real time camera feeds was a great moment for us.
“This signifies a great technology milestone for JET, having taken the buoy-to-buoy wireless communications from the lab to the ocean. But more importantly we have unlocked a whole host of possibilities for users and service providers to save costs, improve efficiencies, and make their everyday work easier. I would like to thank everyone that has supported and partnered with us to get to this stage.”
Councillor Jill Haynes, Cabinet Member for Corporate Development and Transformation for Dorset Council which leads the 5G RuralDorset project, remarked: “It’s great to see the concept of 5G at sea become a reality and we’re proud to have worked closely with JET to get the buoys to this important milestone. 5G connectivity will play an important role in ensuring safety at sea, as well as presenting unique commercial opportunities for all parties.”
Claire Canning, OWGP Programme Manager, said: “We are thrilled to be working with JET and supporting this game-changing project. Not only will this drive a step-change in growth for the company, but 5G connectivity at sea will completely transform offshore wind operations, improving both efficiency and operator safety.”
Mark Anderson, TechX Director, added: “As a recent TechX Graduate, we’re delighted to see JET Engineering continue to grow and hit key milestones like this. JET’s floating 5G mesh network buoy solution is a prime example of a game-changing technology that can help drive more sustainable operations, and in doing so, shape the future of clean energy. We look forward to continue working with JET as they continue to progress.”
JET is currently looking for partners in the maritime industry. It would like to expand its work with offshore asset owners and managers to demonstrate how it can support emission reductions and safety and efficiency improvements for you. We are equally keen to work with those providing maintenance or operational services to trial new capabilities or provide the underpinning network for your innovative solutions. Please get in touch with us to discuss on email@example.com.
© JET Engineering System Solutions 2022: Photo of JET-3 Arial (background) and JET-4 Babel (foreground).
© JET Engineering System Solutions 2022: Photo of JET-3 team by the buoys before deployment.
© JET Engineering System Solutions 2022: JET-4 Babel at sea.
© JET Engineering System Solutions 2022: JET team with JET-4 Babel at sea.