University Oceanographic Laboratory System
Satellite Network Advisory Group SatNAG
Satellite Network Advisory Group
National Science Foundation

UNOLS Internet Use Policy

The U.S. Academic Research Fleet has established a consistent fleetwide policy for managing access to limited Internet resource on board UNOLS vessels. This policy aims to facilitate the functional, equitable and fair use of the Internet for all persons on board while ensuring the successful delivery of services necessary for science missions.

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Primary Purpose of Internet Use

The primary purposes of Internet resources provided on board Academic Research Fleet vessels are:

All other uses, including personal use, is permitted on a non-interference basis with the primary purpose and within agreed upon Terms of Service.

Contact Info

Questions regarding this policy should be sent to:

Acceptable Use and Terms of Service


Persons onboard UNOLS Academic Research Fleet vessels agree to the UNOLS Internet Use Policy Acceptable Use and Terms of Service prior to using Internet resources.

In addition to UNOLS policies, institutions operating Academic Research Fleet vessels may have additional terms of service and acceptable use policies.

By using Academic Research Fleet network resources you agree to the terms of service of the UNOLS Internet Use Policy.


Abuse of the UNOLS Internet Use Policy may result in revoking Internet access and reporting abuses to parent institutions.


Internet access accounts are allocated on a per-person basis



Captive Portal


A Captive Portal is a means by which users are required to login with a username and password prior to granting Internet access. Captive portal access is the primary mode of Internet access for personal devices brought on board.

Internet Use Quota

Captive Portal Accounts

Exceeding Quotas

If you exceed your daily quota you may still use the Internet at designated kiosks computers.



Vessels commonly have public, science or operational kiosk systems configured with unrestricted Internet access from which users can browse the Internet without impacting personal quotas.

Kiosk and clientless hosts should be limited to ~6 system per vessel.

Public Kiosk

Shared login computers in open public spaces for use by anyone science or crew on a first come first served basis.

Science Kiosk

Typically a short list of transient science operations systems which are key to the mission and designated by the P.I. for a given cruise with less restricted Internet Access.

Operational Kiosk

Typically these are permanently installed computers on vessels in locations like the bridge, and engineering. Use of operational kiosk for personal Internet Access should be minimized in favor of Captive Portal Access or Public Kiosks.

Blocked Services


Several high bandwidth and/or high risk service are blocked from Internet access regardless of Captive Portal or Kiosk systems. Some of these systems include:

Exceptions for Science

Please contact the operating institution for your vessel to coordinate Science mission related video streaming services such as outreach activities.

Tips and Tricks


SatNAG documents know tips and tricks that may help you conserve bandwidth on your devices

Frequently Asked Questions


How fast is the Internet onboard vessels?

Typical at sea bandwidth is limited to 512 kbps shore to ship and 256 kbps ship to shore. This bandwidth must be shared with 40+ persons. A typical home DSL connection has 20-40 times this capacity for 1-4 persons and costs 100 times less.

I exceeded my quota, when will my quota reset?

Quotas reset at 00:00 UTC, which is typically around 4pm Pacific or 7pm Atlantic.

I exceeded my quota and I need the Internet to get my job done, what should I do?

Find a public Kiosk for Internet access.

I need to download a big file larger than my quota, what can I do?

Use a public Kiosk to download the file.

Who pays for the Internet on Academic Research Fleet vessels?

The National Science Foundation funds satellite based Internet services for the U.S. Academic Research Fleet

How do we get Internet at sea?

UNOLS vessels use a combination of cellular and satellite based Internet services

Who is SatNAG?

SatNAG is the Satellite Network Advisory Group who is charged with identifying fleet wide solutions for Internet access on UNOLS vessels.