Latest in communications put to the test

The latest state-of-the-art satellite communications are being put to the test during a four-month expedition on a 40ft yacht in one of the coldest and remote regions of the world.

Blue Sky Network (BSN) and Iridium Satellite LLC (Iridium) have agreed to supply the Open Passage Expedition with voice communications and GPS mapping technology for its four month-long Arctic journey.

Equipped with the BSN D2000 device, and the Iridium 9555 satellite phone, the crew of Open Passage's vessel will not only have a constant link to its home base and the general public. It also will benefit from the added safety services provided by real-time location monitoring and emergency notification capabilities.

On June 6, Open Passage's 40-foot yacht, the Silent Sound, embarked on a voyage through Canada's Northwest Passage with the goal of documenting how climate change is affecting Arctic communities. The built-in Ethernet port of BSN's D2000 and the data modem functionality of the 9555 phone will allow the crew to continuously relay its current location and findings to the world. The public will be able to accurately follow and track Open Passage's voyage live through a Yahoo-powered, real-time map on

“BSN's equipment will enable the Open Passage crew to stay in touch with their fans and followers during the entire course of their journey,” said Carlton Van Putten, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Blue Sky Network.

“We are excited that we can empower them to communicate from such remote areas, and believe it will help change the public's perception of climate change.”

“For most of the voyage through Northwest Passage, Iridium will be the only reliable communication lifeline for the crew of Silent Sound,” said Greg Ewert, Executive Vice President, Global Channel Distribution, Iridium.

“No other mobile satellite service is able to provide coverage in the Arctic region, which is rapidly growing in importance for commerce and industry.”

BSN's D2000 device, engineered to withstand harsh environments, operates from the Iridium satellite network and is conveniently sized to fit into compact spaces. It comes equipped with a two-line LCD screen and numeric keyboard for short code messaging, as well as a “Quick Position” mayday alert button for use in emergencies.

Iridium satellite phones are the only MSS handsets that offer coverage everywhere in the world. The Iridium 9555 is Iridium's smallest phone and is more powerful than previous models, loaded with features and able to withstand the tough environments where Iridium users are found. The Iridium 9555 offers an additional mini-USB port and short email capabilities to allow crew members to talk or message with ease. It is also water, dust, and shock-resistant.

“Thanks to the communications tools provided by BSN and Iridium, we are able to easily share our journey with the world and be rest assured knowing our crew is safe,” said Cameron Dueck, Captain of the Open Passage Expedition.

“We will be able to easily stay connected with our onshore staff throughout the voyage — a critical capability and one for which we are immensely grateful.”


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