Nautical network

Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence has joined forces with Singapore A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research to develop a wireless mesh network for ships.


Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence (NICTA) has joined forces with Singapore A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) to develop a wireless mesh network for ships.



The NICTA’s ‘go-anywhere’ router technology will be used alongside the I2R network under a six-month agreement to offer communication for maritime traffic.



The existing I2R network is designed to provide voice and data communications to port authorities, container terminals and other ships via WiMax inter-ship connectivity.



However, connections can be lost during bad weather conditions and to combat this, the NICTA is proposing the use of an alternative satellite connection when shore mesh nodes cannot be reached.



I2R’s wireless mesh technology expects to deliver a 6Mbps long-range (20km) ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore mesh communication system that will provide general voice and data communications, messaging, surveillance and navigational safety.



The product is currently in the research stages, however, if outcomes are successful, trials will take place to further develop the system.



NICTA’s chief executive officer, Dr David Skellern, said: ‘This is an important international research collaboration that offers NICTA the opportunity to use some of its leading technology in an innovative way.



Professor Lye Kin Mun, I2R’s deputy executive director, added: ‘I have no doubt that I2R and NICTA working jointly on this project will yield some promising results for the advancement of this highly beneficial technology for the maritime industry.’