Navy floats on-board Wifi

In a first, the U.S. Navy has approved the use of 802.11g wireless devices for use by personnel boarding suspect vessels.

Overseen by the Navy's Program Executive Office for C4I, the Expanded Maritime Interception Operations (EIMO) wireless system provides a data link between crews on interdicted vessels and their home ship up to a few nautical miles away. Unlike a simple radio unit, these wireless links can transmit biometric data, scanned documents, digital photos and e-mail from the boarding team, allowing near real-time analysis of such artifacts. The units use the 802.11g wireless protocol and Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 encryptions standards.

The Office of Naval Research commissioned this project in March 2006. The EMIO wireless system is designed not to interfere with other shipboard systems and to meet all operational requirements, including security requirements. According to a press release from the Navy, the system 'mitigates the critical issue of timely data accessibility that impacts decision-making, safety and data preservation.'

The first installation of the system was on the USS Cole in April 2007.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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