Iridium helped keep Canada C3 connected as it traveled to the most remote reaches of Canada

An epic, 150-day, 12,000 nautical mile sailing journey, aboard a 220-foot icebreaker, came to an end in late-October, when the Canada C3 expedition vessel docked in Victoria Harbor.

Over the course of 15 legs, a cross-section of over 360 Canadians ranging from youth ambassadors to scientists, artists, anthropologists, journalists, business leaders, Indigenous elders and even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, joined or visited the expedition for Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Equipped with a variety of Iridium devices including an Iridium Pilot®, Iridium GO!® and multiple handsets, the expedition was never out of touch while visiting all three Canadian coastlines, stopping at multiple ports ranging from bustling city hubs to small Indigenous villages. Particularly focused on highlighting the diversity and vibrancy of Canadian culture and heritage, the vessel was outfitted with Canada’s first Gord Downie/Chanie Wenjack Legacy Room to support ceremonies and shape protocol for the journey. The room also provided a space to read, to reflect, to discuss, to debrief, to counsel and to process reconciliation efforts between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

Recognizing the importance of maintaining connectivity throughout the celebratory voyage, the Canada C3 team turned to the Iridium network, the only commercial communications network with coverage spanning both the north and south poles. This communications capability was particularly important when the expedition ventured into the remote Canadian Arctic regions that lack all other communications infrastructure.

Iridium Connected® handsets allowed participants to communicate with teammates and family on land, while sailing through regions lacking cellular connectivity. The Iridium Pilot delivered satellite broadband connectivity through Iridium’s broadband service, Iridium OpenPort®, allowing for high-quality voice and data, email access and web browsing, all while helping maintain business and ship operations at sea.

The Iridium GO! unit served a number of purposes, including as a real-time vessel tracking unit that allowed Canada C3 website visitors to see the location of the ship in real-time (https://canadac3.ca/en/expedition/expedition-map/).  The Iridium GO! can also connect up to five mobile devices at a time through its WiFi connection, allowing for voice calling, SMS texting and even posting to Facebook and Twitter from the Arctic.

To learn more about Canada C3, and view photos, videos and read stories from participants, please visit https://canadac3.ca/en/homepage/ .

   
The compact Iridium Pilot is smaller than traditional VSAT terminals and provides more reliable coverage in remote Arctic regions like those the Canada C3 expedition traversed. The compact Iridium Pilot is smaller than traditional VSAT terminals and provides more reliable coverage in remote Arctic regions like those the Canada C3 expedition traversed.