The project has been completed. Read below for progressive status information.
The Mid Term Review was successfully completed (MTR) and became operational in mid-June 2002 on the Marine Atlantic ferry M.V. Joseph and Clara Smallwood. The Utilisation Phase continued until September 28th 2002, when the North Sydney to Argentina run concluded for the 2002 season (though the vessel continued on the North Sydney Port aux Basques run until late October prior to going into refit). Currently the system is operational on the Smallwood on the Port aux Basques run for the provision of Internet and Data services only.
All the network facilities have been installed and are operational on the vessel. This includes the stabilized 2.4m C-band satellite system (and associated electronics), as well as the sick bay facilities (based upon a Polycom H.323 video conference unit), three multimedia kiosks for the teletourism application, and a wireless access point for the provision of Internet services to the travelling public. Also developed for the project was the MISTMINDER server system, which provided coordination and management facilities for the various systems upon the vessel. An MSAT system has also been installed to provide an alternative voice communications channel, and consideration is being given to implementing a fee-based public phone service through the MSAT facility.
All training of medical support staff at the Port aux Basques hospital and on board the vessel has been completed, with the training covering both the technology being used and the service protocols to be followed. A series of regularly scheduled video consults was arranged between the vessel and the hospital (at least one per crossing) to provide an opportunity for ongoing familiarization and refinement of the sickbay application and usage protocols (this is in addition to any emergency consults that may occur). A data and feedback collection system was put in place at the hospital and on the vessel to acquire usage and user data for the evaluation of the service. Over the 2002 season a total of 23 sessions were conducted between the vessel and the hospital, including four live emergency consults (one other consult was done as a voice-only connection).
The Marine and Mountain Zone Corporation has been quite successful with the teletourism application this season, with over 200 companies and tourism operators subscribing to be represented with the teletourism database that is deployed on the vessel and in the terminal facilities. Based on the performance of the service this season planning is underway to expand the database to cover all of Atlantic Canada for next year s tourism season.
Internet services are being provided to the vessel's crew, as well as to the travelling public through the use of wireless facilities installed in one of the vessel s passenger lounges. To increase access to the service by the travelling public Marine Atlantic has installed several public Internet access kiosks that offer the service on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The MISTMINDER system allowed for the capture and transmission of real-time data from the vessel, including latitude/longitude, speed, heading, weather conditions, etc.). A number of possible applications are being considered for this, with the first one implemented being the real-time display of the vessel s position, speed and heading via a public web site.
The project is now complete and documentation will be released soon.