Rapidly deployable, self forming, wireless networks for maritime interdiction operations
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The term "Maritime Interdiction Operations" usually refers to Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations executed today all over the world. These operations are conducted as a part of the maritime law enforcement policy of each country inside their respective territorial waters or as a part of the homeland security requirements as they are mandated today by the global war against terrorism. Very often lately, they are conducted by allied maritime forces in international waters as well. Although such operations might seem quite simple in execution, the global war against terrorism has dramatically increased their level of complexity. In the past, searching cargo ships for illegal or contraband cargo was not that complicated or that important for national security, but now, searching for non-proliferation, radiological or bio-chemical material, as well as for possible terrorists among the crew members of a ship, is a very complex operation that cannot tolerate mistakes or omissions. This thesis examines the requirements posed by a boarding team, either from the navy or the law enforcement community, on information flow from and to them, in order to enhance their situational awareness and decision making capability during Maritime Interdiction Operations. That information flow is provided by several wireless network technologies, implemented during field trials, as part of the NPS CENETIX (Center for Network Innovation and Experimentation) lab s maritime subset of experimentation. During these field trials, a wireless extension of the internet is deployed to the sea, allowing the boarding team to access information and collaborate with remotely located experts and respective operational commands, the technical aspects, the benefits and shortcomings of the utilized technologies and collaborative tools are screened against the maritime war fighter's operational requirements.
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