The IMSO Director General, Captain Moin Ahmed, officially kick-started the second phase of the evaluation of Iridium to become a potential GMDSS satellite services provider. The first preparation for the stage of the evaluation was started in 2014 where IMSO undertook the evaluation of the Iridium mobile satellite communications system for its use in the GMDSS and reported to the IMO Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR 3) in 2015. The Director General welcomed the Iridium representatives, which was led by Mr. Brian Pemberton and two members of the Group of Experts, for the kick-start meeting at the IMSO Headquarters on 17 May. 2017
The Director General appointed a Group of Experts to take part in the second phase of the assessment. An agreement was formalized with Iridium Satellite PLC to verify the outstanding requirements as identified by NCSR 3 on the technical and operational evaluation of the Iridium mobile satellite system.
The IMSO Directorate, the Group of Experts and Iridium conducted their first meeting today to officially start the evaluation and introduce the Group of Experts to discuss and agree on issues relating to the method of verification and confirmation of the remaining requirements as listed in the NCSR 3/WP.5 Annex 1. Under the supervision of the IMSO Director General, the Group of Experts will organize and report on their work via their Project Coordinator, Mr. Kim Fisher.
The Iridium network is comprised of low-earth orbit (LEO): satellites that span the entire globe, including covering the polar regions. The unique constellation and features of Iridium satellites makes the company a potential future provider of maritime safety communications in the GMDSS.
IMSO Director General has aimed to present the evaluation report for consideration by the NCSR 5 to be held in February 2018. The scope of the technical and operational evaluation will be to assess compliance with the set of criteria set out in IMO Resolution A 1001 (25). The IMO Sub-Committee on NCSR-5 would be expected to consider the report submitted by IMSO and, if satisfied, propose to MSC to recognize the work that Iridium has undertaken to demonstrate the functionality required for providing GMDSS services.