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United States Wireless Networking Hardware

Wi-Fi Hack Aids Boarding Parties 69

Kage-Yojimbo writes with a link to the site Strategy Page. There, they're reporting on a military adaptation of civilian wi-fi equipment to use in boarding operations on the high seas. Modifications to normal off-the-shelf gear can result in a range of over 700 meters, allowing information to be passed through on-shore internet connections. "The main reason for all this was to speed up the transmission of passport photos and other personal data back to the ship, so that it could be run through databases to check for terrorists or criminals. This wi-fi hack cut several hours off the time required to check documents. The Expanded Maritime Interception Operations (EIMO) wireless system was developed last year, to provide several kilometers of range to the original wi-fi gear (which has been in use for over three years). Each pair of wi-fi units costs about $1400 to construct, using common parts to add more powerful antennae to standard 802.11g wi-fi equipment."
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Wi-Fi Hack Aids Boarding Parties

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  • Re:$1400? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @04:06PM (#19284957) Homepage

    Seems a lot for a Pringles can
    Remember we're talking about an institution that pays $5000 for a screw and $20000 for a toilet seat...$1400 for a pair of Pringles cans is cheap by comparison.
  • Re:$1400? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @09:37PM (#19287561) Homepage Journal
    As a former resident of Maine, I know the Bath Iron Works fairly well, and have family members that still work there. The Yard has a deserved reputation for delivering boats ahead of schedule and under budget, and better-built than either requested or expected. Even the Harley Burke class (Aegis) which they had to share some design work with Ingalls on, much to their detriment and consternation. It was a matter of pride at the Yard to survive the inevitable updates, changes, and interference by the Navy and other yards, and launch better and better boats. The Burkes, in particular, took long enough to build that most of the electronics went through a full generation of development. BIW developed innovative methods and used CAD (for the first time in Navy shipbuilding, believe it or not) to adapt to changes and do more with less. The newest program required them to participate in a design-off with Ingalls (and Newport News I think), and led to a 'joint' design. My former brother in law, a navy liason engineer, literally cried talking about how many compromises were endured working with other yards, and how much more money it would cost, the fights over overruns, and the shoddy engineering other yards were imposing on the process. His best quote: 'They intend to fix it in the water'. Second best quote: 'We just don't build boats in Bath with problems. We expect our boats to SERVE our sailors!'

    In Bath, at least, delivering the best value and best boat is still a matter of pride to the entire operation.

    And yes, I don't doubt there is waste. To bring this back on topic, I can imagine the idea that a $1400 Pringles can solution is pretty wasteful. Just consider this - put one of your Pringles cans on a styrofoam float in a fountain, and see if it still works in a breeze. With boats pitching and rolling, I'd spec a DS solution, something Breezecom used to make. I've gotten 15km out of them, and easily 5km with just Yagi antennae. For this application,an LNA for the receivers would solve it, but marine duty is harsh. Everything corrodes. Expect a working life of 6 months for connectors, and 2 years max for the black boxes. And expect the antenna to get snapped off 3-4 times a year, either striking the boat when launching/recovering, or accidentally when the boarded ship somehow gaffs it instead of reaching the sailor. "Woops, was that important?".


Thufir's a Harkonnen now.