Operation Arctic Lynx

More than 20 international organizations are participating in Arctic-focused communications exercises demonstrating the reach, quality and range of satellite capabilities supporting governments and NGOs in the polar regions.

Iridium’s communication capabilities in the Arctic and Antarctic have long been part of the fabric of government, NGO and civilian business activities in these regions and they face an increasing array of polar communication requirements. In this context, Iridium, with its improved constellation and new technologies developed. Remember that the company covers 100% of the globe with 95 Iridium satellites just 780 kilometers from Earth. This relies on an extensive ground infrastructure that guarantees the high reliability and capacity of the communications network through multiple layers of redundancy and back-up systems for all critical functions.

A series of exercises during Operation Arctic Lynx (OAL) in the field focused on a partnership deploying Iridium and Iridium Connected technologies and involving more than 20 organizations, mainly concentrated above 60 degrees north latitude and extending up to 82 degrees north latitude. Taking place between June 11 and June 26, 2021, OAL involves an international contingent of organizations including existing Iridium customers such as the United States Department of Defense, United States federal agencies, state and local organizations in Alaska, organizations Canadian governments, scientific research organizations and several aerospace industries.

As part of the operation, several real-time voice, data and video communication wires will be exercised both when stationary and in motion at several sites such as the SFC Alert which is the most northerly permanently inhabited place in the world and one of the many weather stations in the Arctic.

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The technologies presented include weatherproof broadband (Iridium Certus), Iridium Push-To-Talk (PTT), a variety of unattended sensors capable of tracking, monitoring the environment, remotely controlling and managing the delivery of data and images, beyond visual, line-of-sight (BVLOS) capabilities enabling truly global real-time command and control for drones and autonomous vehicles (Iridium Global Line of Sight SM), embedded solutions and demonstration of advanced capabilities like real-time for 1080p HD video on tape.


The company is present in many sectors where satellite connectivity is a need, in certain situations such as sports.

You may remember our post on the Nokia Bell Labs which optimized the performance of skipper Alex Thomson and his boat during the Vendée Globe 2020. There were around 350 sensors in total on the Hugo Boss. They had chosen the Thales VesseLINK terminal using the Iridium Certus service to provide communications on board the team’s new HUGO BOSS yacht. Iridium is the only satellite network with reliable and truly global connectivity, even in inclement weather conditions.

Iridium connectivity supported Alex’s performance by allowing him to get position updates and know where the competition was. It was also essential to make safe and efficient route decisions made possible by downloading real-time weather and satellite images. The connectivity also helped make the race interactive by allowing Alex to connect with fans and respond to media at sea to easily bring his trip to life. Perhaps the most important thing for Alex was to be able to stay in touch with his family and friends.

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