Black and white photo of Will Croxford sailor

AST Networks is helping to power a groundbreaking solo circumnavigation attempt

12/1/2023 | 4 minute read

 AST Networks is proud to sponsor Will Croxford's groundbreaking attempt to sail solo around the world with no fossil fuels used or carried onboard.

Key facts

  • As a global provider of intelligent remote communications services, AST Networks are providing safety support with a two-year airtime package for an Iridium Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), as well as onsatmail to allow Will to communicate with friends and family from anywhere in the world during his voyage.

  • The objective of the attempt is to become the first person to complete a solo non-stop sail without using any fossil fuels or carrying them onboard as backups. The boat will be carbon neutral or negative.

  • All electronics on board will run on power that has been gathered from either solar panels or hydrogenation technology attached to the boat. Products used on the boat will be recyclable or repurposable, and non-harmful to the environment.  

  • Applied Satellite Technology Networks (AST Networks) is proud to sponsor a world-first attempt to circumnavigate the globe with no fossil fuels used or carried onboard. In 2023, Will Croxford will embark on his voyage accompanied by maritime safety support and a communications system powered by AST Networks' airtime, enabling Will to stay connected at all times.

Cutting-edge technology at sea

As one of the world's leading providers of satellite communications technology, AST Networks will ensure Will remains safe and connected throughout his voyage.

AST Networks are sponsoring Will by supplying an airtime package for his on-board Iridium Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) during the attempt. The system is designed to prevent accidents, and quickly alert rescue authorities and nearby vessels in the event of an emergency. Iridium GMDSS is the only truly global service on the market with 100% coverage, ensuring any distress calls will be received and responded to, anywhere in the world.

In addition, AST Networks will provide a monthly subscription to onsatmail, allowing Will to also stay in contact with friends and family. He'll be able to send updates home to reassure his loved ones and receive news and messages that keep him going. The service uses a specialised data transfer protocol designed for the low bandwidth, high latency connections frequently found in satellite data connections.

An environmental milestone

Setting a new world record for the first circumnavigation of the planet without any fossil fuels carried or used on board sets a new marker for what is possible at sea.

Will was inspired to make his attempt as part of the Global Solo Challenge because of his passion for renewable energy and the environment. Although there have been successful solo navigations using electric engines, they have carried backup generators and gas for cooking.

Will said

"My priority is to ensure my boat is fully compatible and equipped for me to achieve my personal challenge of an entirely fossil-fuel free journey and she is soon to be ready. I am partnering with great companies such as AST to ensure I have the latest safety equipment and communications on board. I will also be undertaking a number of solo experiences and aim to get myself in peak condition fitness-wise, as well as downloading as many audio books as my iPad will allow!"

Francisco Rosas, AST Networks Global Senior Marketing Manager, said:

"There is no limit to what technology can make possible. Will Croxford's groundbreaking solo navigation attempt will prove this impressive feat is possible without the use of fossil fuels. At AST Networks, we are proud to be powering Will's voyage with airtime for cutting-edge safety and communications solutions and wish him the very best of luck."


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