Case Study

Intellian streamlines transportation of Ariane rockets

03 April 2023
Commercial Shipping - v85NX / t80W

Intellian streamlines transportation of Ariane rockets

  • Partner: Alphatron Marine 
  • Customer:  Alizés/ ArianeGroup 
  • Market Sector: Commercial Shipping
  • Required Features: Reliable Ship-to-Shore communications infrastructure


  • A new build vessel requiring satcoms and TV for business operations and crew welfare
  • Installation timings to work with the build schedule

ArianeGroup is an aerospace company based in France, that own and launch rockets carrying satellites into space from their Spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana, in South America. In order to get their Ariane 6 rockets - which can be up to 63m (207ft long) - from Europe to French Guyana they need their own unique vessels.

Alphatron Marine, a Dutch supplier of integrated bridge solutions for the maritime sector, was selected by ArianeGroup’s build partners Alizés and Dutch Neptune Maritime Projects, to provide the satellite communications technology on board, working with the shipyard and their timings.

The result of this project is a new 121m (397ft) ship called Canopée, that has been specially engineered to transport containerized sections of the Ariane 6 launchers. It has been designed with sustainability in mind and the design will also allow it to navigate upriver at Kourou, right to the dock near the Spaceport. The Canopée will be equipped with four 30-metre-high Oceanwings, sail panels that will cover an area of 375sqm each (approx. 4 tennis courts) and this total 1,500sqm should help save around 35% on fuel consumption.

With each transatlantic crossing taking approximately 2 weeks and around 19 crew on board, the need for satellite communication for safety services, business operations and crew welfare was a must.


Following consultations with their clients on their needs, Alphatron Marine chose to partner with Intellian to deploy the v85NX VSAT and t80W TVRO terminals on board the Canopeé.

Such a future-proof vessel requires future-proof satellite communications and as the v85NX is a Ku- to Ka-band convertible maritime VSAT antenna, it supports vessel owners if they need to change their network operator as their needs evolve, without having to replace the antenna. The NX Series of antennas are designed to track NGSO satellites with no additional mediator needed. The 85cm antenna is perfect for the amount of data required onboard and can handle everything from engine room monitoring, video calls back to shore, operational logistic as well as crew welfare. The system comes standard with 8W BUC and can be upgraded to operate with a 16W or 25W BUC. With immediate availability from Intellian’s Global Logistic Centers, getting the antenna installed in The Netherlands was ideal.  

With crew welfare a very important consideration for ArianeGroup, Intellian’s t80W was selected to allow crew on board to watch live TV while at sea. With a radome to match the v85NX, the t80W is a popular solution that allows for global TV reception on board thanks to Intellian’s WorldView technology. This system receives SD or HD programming from any Ku-band satellite TV service around the globe without requiring LNB changes or re-wiring of the system when the vessel travels from one region to another – ideal for Canopée’s return journeys between Europe and South America.


  • Market leading NX Series
  • Global technical support
  • Warranty

VSAT and TVRO solutions are hugely beneficial to crew welfare onboard. Enhanced connectivity onboard boosts morale, and wellbeing of a ship’s crew, by giving them better opportunities for connection to their home-from-home comforts, including video calls, streaming, and other internet-based amenities. Being able to communicate regularly with family while crews are on long voyages is hugely important for mental health.

Besides crew welfare purposes, the NX Series VSAT will be used for all their onboard operational requirements. From everything to sensor data, to weather monitoring and business operations it allows the vessel to function most efficiently and effectively. Another key aspect of this solution is that it’s future-proof: NX Series antennas support GEO, MEO and LEO satellite constellations, making them a sound long-term investment.

Arie van Beuzekom, Sales Manager at Alphatron Marine, said: “Canopeé is such a unique project, not just for ArianeSpace but for the world too as we look towards more sustainable shipping. Being involved in this project and working closely with all the parties involved is something we’re really proud of. Intellian’s satellite communications was selected to ensure that our customer’s needs on board are met not only for today, but for the future too. Intellian was our first choice as their technology aligns with the customer requirements, they have fantastic technical support and the ease with which we could work with them to complete this project was fantastic.” 

Intellian provides industry leading warranties to customers and end-users, fully supported by their qualified field service engineers and service partners. These warranties cover three years for parts and two years of factory repair labor to return the systems to the original specification which is a great piece of mind. Intellian also provides a maximum of 6 months additional warranty, after the submission of the warranty registration form, when the installation occurs within 6 months from the shipment date.

Solution Partner: Alphatron Marine

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