OHB Group developing solutions for optimizing the exchange of information during the construction and operation of offshore wind farms

Andreas Nil (MediaMobil Communication), Oliver Spalthoff (Deutsche Offshore Consult), Ulrich Schulz (OHB AG), Dr. Fritz Merkle (OHB System), Jens Kuckertz (OHB Teledata), Jörg Biesewig (megatel)

According to the plans of the German federal government, offshore wind power is to make a crucial contribution to the national and international energy balance in the future. Work has already commenced on building up the capacity in the North and Baltic Seas for the production of regenerative energies, with new wind farms being added continuously. By 2020, some two dozen wind farms located in the North Sea will be producing up to ten gigawatts of electricity. Comprising 80 individual turbines, these wind farms are being constructed on the open seas under harsh environmental conditions far off the coast in water depths of up to 40 meters. Innovative and robust communications are required to ensure optimum use of the limited period during which weather conditions permit assembly of the wind farms. As terrestrial networks are at most only insufficient, if available at all, satellite communications offer an ideal way of ensuring that numerous participants have access to the necessary information and enable the digital sharing of documents.

OHB System AG has now set up an experienced team to develop an integrated, multimode communications system for interactive real-time applications in the offshore wind power sector. This will allow users to substantially lower their cost of logistics and hence enhance the economic viability of renewable energies.

In January 2013 the partnership of five companies under the lead management of OHB System AG started work on the development of the technical solution within the ESA feasibility study “Com4Offshore”. Deutsche Offshore Consult GmbH will be contributing its knowledge about the special planning and construction processes for wind farms and validating the system as a pilot user. The innovative telecommunications infrastructure will be developed by MediaMobil Communication GmbH. OHB Teledata GmbH’s experience in the front-end development and production of maritime logistics solutions will be used as a basis for the information technologies and software applications to be supplied by IT systems specialist megatel GmbH.

A prototype of the Com4Offshore system is to be assembled within  eight months, linking and supplementing the technical infrastructure already being utilized by the users without replacing it. Users will be actively involved in the development. With the deliberately chosen tight schedule, it will be possible to commence the demonstration phase in 2013/2014, shortly after which Com4Offshore will be ready for market launch.

At the beginning of the project, the managements of the individual partners signed a memorandum of understanding governing the joint activities and adressing their common interest in this business venture.

The participating companies:

OHB System AG is a mid-size space systems company and a subsidiary of the European space and technology group OHB AG. OHB System AG specializes in low-orbit and geostationary small satellites for scientific research, communications and earth observation, leading-edge technologies for manned space flight, models and studies for exploring our solar system as well as reconnaissance satellites and instruments for broadband wireless transmission of reconnaissance image data for greater security and reconnaissance. The company is currently attracting particular attention as it is developing and assembling 22 satellites for the European Galileo navigation system.

Deutsche Offshore Consult GmbH - DOC is an expert in operations and project activities in the offshore wind industry. DOC has deliberately selected facilities in Bremen and Bremerhaven in the heart of the German offshore industry. With its offshore experts, DOC is a reliable partner for the approval, development and realization of future wind-power projects.

MediaMobil Communication GmbH develops and operates system solutions for data and voice communications in the offshore and maritime segments as well as for onshore locations in which no terrestrial networks are available. It offers global IP connections for data applications, telephony and Internet access. Its range of services encompasses the delivery and installation of satellite and wireless systems as well as the provision of data transmission bandwidth. Its proprietary developments particularly include VPN and gateway solutions for the transparent utilization of different networks such as VSAT Immarsat and mobile communications. VSAT systems are offered for use on both land and on board ships. They are operated via a dedicated satellite gateway (Teleport) in Bremen, where the technical support for users is also based.

megatel GmbH is a nationally and internationally active IT consulting and software companies whose core skills include database solutions, bespoke software developments and mobile applications. The portfolio additionally comprises IT management, geographic information systems (GIS) telematics, software and hardware, Intranet/Internal applications and automotive onboard software and hardware. megatel GmbH is an OHB AG company headquartered in Bremen.

OHB Teledata GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of OHB AG addressing a portfolio of activities in the areas of security, communications services, electronics components and logistics. For over ten years now, it has been supplying navigation and communications systems to the automobile industry and is involved in tracking and tracing and remote monitoring systems.

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Günther Hörbst
Head of Corporate Communications

Manfred-Fuchs-Platz 2-4
28359 Bremen

Phone.: +49 421 2020-9438
Mobile: +49 171 1931041
Email: guenther.hoerbst@ohb.de