Subject: Field communication

Phillip J. Clapham (
Thu, 7 Oct 1999 09:57:06 -0400 (EDT)

Thanks for the enquiry about communication needs when we're in the field.
We do our field work on gvmt research vessels which have the full range of
communication equipment including sat phones, so we're never out of range
of anyone.  But non-profit research organizations with lsimmer budgets who
can't afford the huge fees on sat phones certainly have need of something
that is affordable when they're outside cell range.
One application of this that is badly needed is during whale
disentanglements.  Large whales (notably right whales and humpbacks) get
tangled up in fishing gear and a team from the Center for Coastal Studies
(Provincetown, MA) often goes out to try to disentangle them.  This used to
be a solely coastal operation, but with right whales (which are critically
endangered) it's now also offshore, sometimes out of cell range.  It would
be immensely useful to have something affordable out there that gets around
the vagaries of VHF, and poor-quality MF transmission etc.
Try talking to David Mattila at CCS (

Phil Clapham