New ‘Universal Gateway’ speeds data to Navy vessels

Some communications tasks aboard Navy ships will soon get easier thanks to new technology that automatically synchronizes data between systems, reducing time and effort and providing more security, according to an article in the July 25 Navy Times.

Researchers at the Office of Naval Research have created a so-called “network bridging system” known as Universal Gateway that moves data instantaneously between the combat system that controls weapons and sensors, and the command and control network.

At present, sailors aboard ships with aircraft receive daily air tasking orders via their control and communications network, which dictates takeoffs, landings and missile launches. They have to manually transfer the orders by copying them onto a CD and then upload them to the combat network.

With Universal Gateway, the transfer will happen automatically and also help make networks more secure, said Wayne Perras, director of experimentation for ONR’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Department.

“We don’t have the manpower to do it [manually] anymore,” Perras told the Navy Times.

Universal Gateway is designed for carriers, cruisers and destroyers and should start reaching the fleet between fiscal 2013 and 2014, Perras said, adding that ONR researchers are also discussing expanding Universal Gateway to littoral combat ships and submarines.

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