Testing and evaluation of shipboard wireless network components
McConnell, Richard J.
Loomis, Herschel H.
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Fundamental challenges facing program managers and information technology decision makers today are me identification of architectures and technologies that reduce the cost of maintaining computer networks while simultaneously increasing worker productivity. Advances in wireless communications and subsequently, wireless local area networks (WLANs) permit mobile users to share information without being hardwired to a network. These mobile devices will enable shipboard personnel to submit damage control reports, update equipment logs, view technical manuals and order repair parts, without being confined by the limitations of a wired network. The advantages of WLANs are virtually endless, ranging from the uses previously discussed, to communications between the ship and its small boats, to automated data transfer of degaussing results, and even direct parts ordering from a pier-side supply center. This thesis provides a hardware analysis and discusses %overage limitations of commercially available WLAN components for use onboard naval vessels. Utilization of this mobile equipment will improve DC communications and watchstander productivity. With remote access to the wired network backbone, personnel can conduct transactions instantaneously whenever and wherever the need arises. A discussion of the theories and principles governing the operation of WLANs is presented, followed by a laboratory evaluation of current, commercially available components.
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