Connectivity for underway Coast Guard patrol boats
Busch, Gregory C.
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This thesis examines the US Coast Guard patrol boat's ability to effectively exchange operational data while underway. The patrol boat is currently unable to obtain tactical law enforcement information from the central Law Enforcement Information System 2 (LEIS 2) database while on patrol. LEIS 2 provides access to law enforcement information from Coast Guard, FBI, and state and local law enforcement agencies. Availability of this information will alert the boarding team of potentially dangerous situations and heighten their awareness during the boarding, allowing for a safer boarding. This thesis evaluates the current state of the patrol boat's communication system and recommends a solution to its current needs. Current and proposed satellite communication systems are evaluated using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Pairwise comparisons are made of multiple decision criteria and the alternatives to obtain a recommended solution. The conclusion of this study is that the patrol boat's future requirements will far exceed the bandwidth available from current satellite systems. Broadband mobile communication systems such as Teledesic and Spaceway are currently under development and show promise. Until broadband service is available, Iridium should be adopted as the solution to the patrol boat's current needs.
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