Ship Communications Systems

The Miller Freeman has several types of communication systems available to communicate directly with shore-based facilities or other vessels at sea. The various systems are described below.

Satellite Systems

Satellite communications options aboard the Miller Freeman are:
A Magnaphone MX-2464 INMARSAT-B is located in the Radio Room and interfaced with the ship's PBX system. The terminal provides voice, fax, data, and telex connectivity via the worldwide INMARSAT satellite system. Data speeds are 9600 and 56/64 K baud. The ship's e-mail is usually sent via INMARSAT-B on either the low or high-speed data connection. Costs range from $3 (low speed) to $10/minute (high speed).
The Nera Worldphone Mini M is used mainly as a back up to the INMARSAT B. It has voice, fax and 2400 baud data communications terminal. Cost is about $2.30 per minute, which may be charged to a credit card or directly reimbursed. Mini-M service coverage is generally the same as INMARSAT-B.
The Trimble Galaxy STANDARD C is used mainly for Telex type store and forward message service with approximately 500 baud message transfer rate. Because of the high expense and slow data transfer rate, the system is generally only used for ship's business, such as weather reporting (SEAS) and telex to shore based facilities (mainly foreign ports).

The Iridium phone is tied into the shipwide phone system.

Cell Phone

A cell phone is located in the Radio Room and is interfaced with the ship's PBX telephone systems. The cell phone is only usable at times when ship is in range of a shore based cell system.
** Specific information on how to contact the Miller Freeman and all other fleet vessels can be found at **

For scientific projects, the Chief Scientist or his/her designated representative may have access to the ship's communications systems on a cost reimbursable basis. Whenever possible, it is requested that direct payment (e.g. credit card) be used as opposed to after-the-fact reimbursement.


All embarked personnel will be assigned a personal e-mail account on the ship's e- mail system. See E-Mail Policy on the Welcome Aboard page for specific information on ship-board e-mail policy.


Two 300 watt high frequency (HF, 2 tro 30 mhz)) transceivers are installed in the radio room for HF communications. These radios are used for routine ship-to-ship (to other marine vessels) and ship-to-shore (to shore based facilities) communications using voice or telex. These radios use whip or long-wire antenna systems.

Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)

The Miller Freeman is GMDSS compliant with a full set of operational GMDSS equipment as well as back up. This equipment includes HF and very high frequency digital selective call (VHF DSC) transceivers, scanning watch receiver, Navtex receiver, Standard C transceiver, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB), Search and Rescue Radar Transponders (SART), and GMDSS emergency hand held radios.

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Updated: August 28, 2008