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Elevating Crew Welfare through Ship Digitalisation: Starlink Satellite Installation on Norstar Managed Vessel, Golden Curl

14 August 2023

Norstar has always held the belief that our crew members are of utmost importance within our company. Their well-being and safety remain our highest priority, shaping the way we conduct our operations. Notably, we have embraced ship digitalisation and recently introduced our very first Starlink Satellite system on one of our managed vessels, the Golden Curl.  The adoption of this technology guarantees a continuous and smooth connection, leading to improved morale, heightened efficiency, and an overall enhanced sense of safety.

The Growing Need for Ship Digitalisation and Enhancing Crew Connectivity

As vessels travel across the world’s oceans, reliable and high-speed communication is essential for seamless operations, crew welfare, and efficient logistics management. Recognizing this need, we looked into new ways to improve connectivity on board, which could really change our fleet’s operations. With Starlink, our crew members can seamlessly stay in touch with their loved ones, access vital information, and maintain a sense of connection to the world beyond the ship’s confines.

Starlink Satellite Technology Installation and its Benefits

Starlink, a project by SpaceX, is at the forefront of the global mission to provide internet coverage on a global scale. Leveraging a low-earth orbit satellite constellation, Starlink offers unparalleled advantages for maritime applications, overcoming the limitations of traditional maritime communication systems. Some benefits of this high-speed satellite internet include breaking down communication barriers and allowing crew members to interact with their families, friends, and colleagues as if they were on land. This sense of connectivity fosters emotional well-being and minimizes the feeling of isolation that often surfaces during extended voyages. 

Installation of Starlink on Golden Curl

Demonstrating our commitment to the crew’s well-being and ship digitalisation, Norstar successfully installed Starlink satellite technology on the Golden Curl, one of their managed vessels. The installation took place on 12th May 2023 in Singapore and was met with enthusiasm from the crew onboard. Our IT Manager, Albert Santiago, personally tested the system and was impressed with its capabilities, boasting speeds of up to 300MBPS.

To showcase the system’s effectiveness, a video conference was conducted between Albert Santiago and the Technical Superintendent in charge of Golden Curl, Aditya Budhraja. The crystal-clear communication and seamless data transfer during the video conference highlighted the potential of Starlink in transforming maritime communication.

Furthermore, the crew members onboard shared their testimonials, with one crew member stating, “It is faster than our home internet in Yangon!” The improved connectivity not only enhances crew welfare but also optimizes various vessel operations.

Achieving Improved Connectivity, Safety, and Crew Morale via Vessel Digitization 

  • Real-time Information and Safety

Starlink ensures access to up-to-date information, weather updates, and operational data, enabling informed decision-making and safe navigation in dynamic maritime settings.

  • Enhanced Decision-Making

Starlink’s dependable connectivity empowers crew members with fast access to critical information, leading to better decision.

  • Seamless Connections with Loved Ones

Starlink’s fast and reliable internet supports easy crew-to-shore communication, allowing our crew to better connect with their loved ones and reducing isolation. Moreover, it provides entertainment options for crew members during their downtime.

Future Plans for Advancing Ship Digitalisation 

In May of 2022, a series of notable revisions were approved to modernize the Maritime Labour Convention 2006. These changes encompassed various aspects, one of which involved mandating onboard crew connectivity as a demand for shipowners. This alteration comes at a period when seafarer well-being is facing heightened attention.

We aim to extend the implementation of Starlink satellite technology to all our managed vessels, subject to owners’ approval. Albert Santiago, expressed the company’s dedication, stating, “We will do our very best to encourage our vessel owners to install Starlink on their vessels as it is a big step forward towards ship digitalization.

This strategic move not only promises cost savings and operational advantages for us but also reinforces our commitment to investing in solutions that enhance crew well-being and drive the maritime industry forward.


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