The International Maritime Organization has authorized Iridium Communications to provide Global Maritime Distress and Safety System satellite services for the UN agency’s maritime emergency operations.
Iridium said Monday the International Mobile Satellite Organization awarded the company a letter of compliance that verifies the GMDSS service’s capacity to meet the IMO Maritime Safety Committee’s technical and operational requirements.
The IMSO-regulated GMDSS is comprised of satellite networks that process distress information from mariners at sea and transmit navigational data to vessels. The system also includes compact terminals designed to transmit distress alerts and maritime safety information.
Iridium plans to expand GMDSS operations to include Sea Area A4, or the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
“This is a monumental achievement for Iridium, and one that took years of hard work and dedication,” said Iridium CEO and 2019 Wash100 winner Matt Desch. “We are dedicated to keep finding innovative new ways to facilitate safer marine travel.”
Iridium started its efforts to provide GMDSS satellite services in 2013 and secured approval to serve as a GMDSS provider in 2018. The company then signed a public services agreement with IMSO in April 2019.