Aquarius Undersea Research Laboratory Wins InfoWorld 100 Award for Innovative Use of Orthogon’s Wireless Solutions; Orthogon Systems & Aquarius Also Profiled as a Top 20 Implementation for 2005

Award winning project:

WALTHAM, Mass. & ASHBURTON, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 30, 2005–Orthogon Systems, a leading provider of fixed wireless solutions for reliable connectivity in difficult environments, today announced that its customer, the Aquarius undersea research laboratory, owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and operated by the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), is a recipient of an InfoWorld 100 Award. These annual awards honor IT projects that demonstrate the most creative use of cutting-edge technologies to further their business goals. Aquarius was chosen by InfoWorld editors for its successful deployment of Orthogon’s OS-Gemini point-to-point broadband wireless solution in its underwater laboratory. In addition, Aquarius’ use of OS-Gemini was also recognized as a top 20 implementation this year and is a finalist for the InfoWorld 100 Project of the Year Award, which will be announced in March, 2006.

As the world’s only operational undersea laboratory, Aquarius serves as a home base for aquatic research and is a national asset that supports scientists in their efforts to better understand U.S. oceans and coastal resources. Aquarius uses OS-Gemini to transmit important scientific findings from the base of the sea floor to its land-based office 10 miles away in Key Largo, Fla. and to the Internet. With Orthogon’s equipment securely attached to a sea-surface buoy, 62 feet above Aquarius, OS-Gemini provided an average of 31.5 Mbps between the two end points and consistently connected with carrier-grade reliability over the ocean.

“We are thrilled that Aquarius’ innovative deployment of the OS-Gemini has been recognized with such a prestigious award”
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After being deployed by Rapid Systems, a leading Internet Service Provider across the State of Florida, Orthogon’s solution has enabled high-quality video and voice for Internet streaming and monitoring, as well as high-bandwidth applications such as a video conference link. The added bandwidth that OS-Gemini provided enabled Aquarius to communicate to its land-based office in ways that previously had never before been possible.

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized as a top IT innovator by InfoWorld for our use of Orthogon’s wireless technology in our Aquarius underwater laboratory,” said Dominic Landucci, project manager and marine specialist, NOAA’s National Undersea Research Center at UNCW. “By using OS-Gemini, we overcame tremendous challenges, such as rough seas, great distances and unpredictable weather, to deploy a reliable connection between our land base and the Aquarius lab at the bottom of the ocean. Moreover, Orthogon has allowed us to take our program further with new applications as a result of additional bandwidth generated from the network.”

An important partner for some of these new applications is NASA. The Johnson Space Center and United Space Alliance utilize Aquarius for at least a NOAA/NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) mission each year, as an analog system for living in space. The NEEMO program has helped upgrade Aquarius robotics and telecommunications systems, enabling routine remote interaction with, for example, Mission Control in Houston and the International Space Station.

“This technological development helps us fulfill our vision of Aquarius as the world’s most capable coral reef and ocean observing system,” said Andrew Shepard, director of the UNCW undersea center. “Real-time data on environmental conditions, both above and underwater, and coral ecosystem health will be available via the Web, allowing scientists to continue their studies year round from their labs.”

“We are thrilled that Aquarius’ innovative deployment of the OS-Gemini has been recognized with such a prestigious award,” said Phil Bolt, president and CEO, Orthogon Systems. “Furthermore, the nature of this implementation is a true testament to the obstacles the OS-Gemini can overcome to bring customers reliable wireless connectivity.”

The InfoWorld 100 Awards celebrate enterprise IT projects that made the best use of technology to meet business goals in 2005. Entries were judged on innovation and project complexity, as well as stumbling blocks that were overcome to achieve success. Furthermore, to be considered for an award, projects must stretch beyond the typical, off-the-shelf solution, using multiple technologies in innovative ways to meet well-defined objectives. The InfoWorld 100 Awards were published in full in the magazine’s Nov. 14 issue and are available online at The Aquarius implementation is listed under government projects.

“IT departments continue to learn hard lessons about business realities and realistic ROI,” said Eric Knorr, executive editor at large. “The InfoWorld 100 provides a forum for IT managers to get the recognition they deserve for smart projects from an audience of their peers.”

About OS-Gemini

The OS-Gemini is a point-to-point broadband wireless Ethernet bridge that maintains a secure wireless connection with carrier-class reliability to enterprise customers, including corporations, municipalities, universities and hospitals and to wireless ISPs. With performance of up to 44 Mbps aggregate user throughput, the OS-Gemini connects separate networks for up to 125 miles where obstacles, long distances, high-interference locations or rough terrain prevent a direct line-of-sight connection. The platform is FCC certified, operates in the unlicensed 5.8GHz band and is easy to install, configure and manage.

About InfoWorld Media Group

InfoWorld Media Group helps senior technologists connect technology and business strategy for maximum impact at their organizations. Through integrated channels including online, events, demand generation and a weekly print magazine, InfoWorld reaches the most influential senior-level information technologists — those who drive their enterprises’ strategies and technology purchases. Powered by a continued investment in an independent Test Center, InfoWorld analysts and editors provide both hands-on analysis and evaluation, as well as expert commentary on issues surrounding emerging technologies and products. Visit InfoWorld at

About the NOAA National Undersea Research Program at UNC Wilmington

The National Undersea Research Program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. UNCW supports undersea research off the southeastern United States, from N.C. to Texas. Facilities and staff are located at the university’s Center for Marine Science in Wilmington, N.C., and in Key Largo, Fla. The program operates the world’s only undersea research laboratory, Aquarius.

About Orthogon Systems

Orthogon Systems is a leading provider of high-performance fixed wireless solutions known for delivering reliable connectivity in the most challenging environments. Based on unique, patented intelligent radio technology, the award-winning OS-Gemini and OS-Spectra products are secure, easy-to-install and self-managing. Since July 2003, Orthogon has installed more than 3,000 wireless links, successfully connecting disparate networks within corporate enterprises, service providers and municipalities in 49 countries worldwide and growing. Orthogon Systems is co-headquartered in Ashburton, England and Waltham, Mass. with offices in Moscow, Dubai, Singapore and Shanghai.

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