Working their magic for one of America's great events is KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI). The company announced that it has been named an Official Supplier of New York Yacht Club American Magic, a Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup. KVH has installed advanced satellite-based and cellular-based communications equipment for the team’s chase boats in order to facilitate high-speed data transmissions. In addition, KVH is providing high-performance fiber optic gyro (FOG)-based sensors to aid in performance metrics for the team’s race boats.
Martin Kits van Heyningen, chief executive officer of KVH said that they are proud to support New York Yacht Club American Magic in its challenge for the America’s Cup. There is special meaning for them since the America’s Cup is part of KVH’s history, with their very first product developed for a 12-meter yacht preparing for the 1980 America’s Cup.
Terry Hutchinson, skipper and executive director of American Magic added that they are excited to be working with maritime technology innovator KVH and have their products on the fleet of chase boats. The ability to have reliable data transmissions contributes to their competitive edge.
The connectivity equipment KVH installed on American Magic’s chase boats includes: the TracPhone® LTE-1, an ultra-compact marine-grade system powered by LTE-Advanced network technology providing service as far as 20 miles offshore; and the satellite-based TracPhone V3-HTS providing satellite communications at data speeds of up to 5 Mbps down/2 Mbps up. The V3-HTS is designed for KVH’s mini-VSAT BroadbandSM HTS network, which utilizes Intelsat’s FlexMaritime service to deliver global multi-layered satellite coverage. The two systems will be configured for least-cost routing, ensuring uninterrupted and cost-effective data delivery via automatic switching between LTE and satellite services.
KVH’s connectivity equipment will be used by American Magic in such training locations as Newport, Rhode Island, and Pensacola, Florida, and in racing venues that include Cagliari, Italy, on the island of Sardinia, where the first America’s Cup World Series race is scheduled to take place in April 2020. The 36th America’s Cup is scheduled for March 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand.
KVH is also providing American Magic with high-performance FOG-based inertial measurement units (IMUs) that the team will use to measure various performance metrics of the race boats.
The America’s Cup is the highest prize in sailing and the oldest trophy in international sports. American Magic brings together two highly successful racing programs—Bella Mente Racing and Quantum Racing—and one of the foremost yacht clubs in the world—New York Yacht Club—united to win back the Cup, reconnect the American sailing base with the premier event in the sport, and elevate the quality of competitive sailing in the United States.
KVH’s history with the America’s Cup goes back to 1978, when the syndicate for France III—a 12-meter yacht preparing for the 1980 America’s Cup challenger series in Newport—asked engineer and sailing enthusiast A.H. Kits van Heyningen to develop a yacht racing computer. Four years later, Sailcomp was introduced, giving the marine world its first digital fluxgate compass—and a start for KVH Industries.
Over the years, KVH’s inertial sensors have also been part of America’s Cup technology advancements; KVH’s CNS-5000 fiber optic gyro-based navigation system was on board the AC45s and AC72s in the 34th America’s Cup and on board the ACC foiling catamarans of the 35th America’s Cup.