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Ship contact info

VHF Radio Call Sign:
Iridium phone cockpit:
00 - 88 1677 72 7018
Iridium spare 1:
00 - 88 1621 41 8079
Iridium spare 2:
00 - 88 1621 44 3804
Emergency Beacon:
ID: ADE90 05931 C34D
Handheld Emergency Beacon:
ID: LC 4652
Hovercraft registered in Delaware, US:
DL 1519 AB


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RV "Sabvabaa" will mostly use Isfjorden as transit route to the ice covered areas further north. An AIS system would thus be of limited value - there are no other vessels around.

Launching of the Norwegian AISSat-1 satellite in 2010 could, however, provide a new method of vessel tracking - must be evaluated:


There are several solutons. We can either acquire a unit that performs this task, or have one of our Iridium 9505A handsets, connected to computers via Data Kit (RS-232), transmit position information.

NAL Research mod. 9601-DGS-LP

Report from testing of this unit.

NAL Reserch Iridium Tracking Unit mod. 9601-DGS-LP
NAL Reserch Iridium Tracking Unit mod. 9601-DGS-LP


This unit could be programmed to transmit information at user defined intervals, and sleeps in between. It also has has a panic button feature.

The RST470 uses Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD) service. The SBD telegrams must be retrieved from Iridum servers (as emails) at regular intervals, parsed and the information must then be used to generate web based map.

Using 9505A Iridium Phone

First we have to be able to control the 9505A via the RS-232 based Data Kit. After some struggle with the special PDU format required, we managed to transmit SMS messages with the 9505A from a PC. Prototype software was written in Python.

Reference documents in this regard:

In order to send SMS the 9505A hand set must first be enabled by storing the Iridium SMS Service Center Number in the SIM card, quoting from this web page:

  • Press the Envelope Key on the 9505 handset.
  • Use the Scroll Key to select the ‘Message Settings’ option. Press OK.
  • Use the Scroll Key to select the ‘Service Centre’ option. Press OK.
  • Enter 00881662900005 or +881662900005. Press OK.
  • The phone will momentarily display “Completed”.
  • This procedure is valid only for Satellite Series 9505 handsets that have the current software version, which is LAC0307. To determine the software version of any 9505 handset, go to the initial screen and press *#91#. The following software for 9505 handsets has been released in the past: LAC0103, LAC0105, LAC0107, and LAC109G (the most common version). 9505 handsets with older software can be reflashed by your Iridium service provider. Only one reflash is required; it is not necessary to incrementally reflash, i.e., reflash from LAC0107 to LAC109G then finally to LAC0307.



Using Global Mapper

Global Mapper has a GPS tracking input option, where vessel position can be kept in map center. IBCAO can be used for bathymetry.

It is, however, difficult to set the desired bathymetry appearence, and also to plot vessel trackline the way we want. So we will first attempt to use Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) for this task.


Screenshot below shows the first version of a combined map machine and instrument integration application, using a standard browser as user interface. A JavaScript library called JQuery was employed in developing this interface. Unfortunately, this library had a severy memory leak problem, causing the application to run very slowly after a couple of hours.

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Page last modified on October 24, 2011, at 09:20 AM
Department of Earth Science
University of Bergen