Observing a sail yacht with a telecommunications engineer perspective

The relationship between the sea and telecommunication started many years ago, in fact, as discussed in a previous post, the inventor of the telecommunications industry, Gugliemo Marconi, used the yacht Elettra as his wireless innovation lab.

If we observe a yacht with the perspective of a telecommunications engineer we will see a great number of antennas. I like the wind, so I’ll post a photo of a sail yacht, but the same will apply for a motor yacht.  The main difference is that even the largest sail yacht will have issues to allocate very large antennas (e.g.: C Band antenna with dish diameter >1.5m).


If we ask which bands are used by the devices installed on a large sail yacht, we will find that most of the radio spectrum is used. This is an initial attempt to answer the previous question, using the IEEE US bands and some of the devices that you can find on large yachts (including the omnipresent iPhone!):

Band Frequency Devices
HF band 3 to 30 MHz SAILOR 6300 MF/HF, TX 1605 kHz – 30 MHz, RX 150 kHz – 30 MHz
VHF band 30 to 300 MHz SAILOR 6222 VHF DSC, TX 156 MHz -157 MHz, RX 156 MHz -163 MHz
L band 1 to 2 GHz SAILOR 500 FleetBroadband,TX 1626.5 – 1660.5 MHz, RX 1525.0 – 1559.0 MHz, SAILOR SC4000 Iridium, TX 1616 – 1626.5 MHz, RX1616 – 1626.5 MHz, SAILOR 6110 mini-C, RX 1525 – 1545 MHz, 1626.5 – 1646.5 MHz, Iphone 5S Cellular bands/Cisco 819 Router 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz + LTE bands
S band 2 to 4 GHz Iphone 5S Wi-Fi bands/Cisco 2600 AP , 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)Furuno FAR 28X7, 3050MHz – 30 MHz
C band  4 to 8 GHz Iphone 5S Wi-Fi bands/Cisco 2600 AP 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Sea Tel 9711, TX: 5.850-6.725 GHz, RX: 3.4-4.2 GHz
X band 8 to 12 GHz Furuno FAR 28X7, 9419 MHz – 30 MHz
Ku band 12 to 18 GHz Sea Tel 4012 GX, TX 13.75-14.5 GHz, RX 10.7-12.75 GHz
K band 18 to 27 GHz NA
Ka band 27 to 40 GHz Future. Intelsat’s EpicNG, Telenor’s Thor-7, Inmarsat’s Global Xpress, and O3b
V band 40 to 75 GHz NA
W band 75 to 110 GHz NA
G band 110 to 300 GHz NA
H band 220 to 325 GHz NA

Few weeks ago I had the opportunity to follow a presentation from Vinton Cerf at Campus Party. He was discussing about global connectivity, and he mentioned a Google project to use satellites transmissions over the 60GHZ band, to increase the bandwidth delivered to users. I’m sure that in the future we will see more innovation coming from the space and we will see more technologies that will improve the way people at sea connect with information. Stay tuned!

Do you know about other innovative technologies working in the extremely high frequency band?

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