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A modern warship has many complex systems for onboard communications, command and control. At present, all of these systems are hard-wired and are expensive to modify or replace for the many upgrades that occur during the lifetime of the ship. It would be advantageous to replace much of this cabling with wireless links and to use COTS wireless local area network (WLAN) technology. Very little previous research has been carried out, however, to investigate the nature of the propagation environment onboard a ship or to determine whether existing WLAN technologies will have sufficient range and bandwidth. This paper describes wideband propagation measurements carried out onboard a warship. A vector network analyser was used to obtain a frequency domain characterisation of the radio channel at 2 GHz and 5 GHz within several compartments and passageways aboard HMS Bristol. Results are presented that demonstrate multipath fading and path loss. The attenuation caused by the closing of watertight doors is also considered. Comparisons are made with the author's previous measurements taken in typical office buildings (P. Nobles, et al., (1997)). The conclusions provide a fascinating insight into the propagation mechanisms onboard a warship and the challenges of implementing wireless systems in this environment.
Military Communications Conference, 2003. MILCOM '03. 2003 IEEE (Volume:2 )
Date of Conference: 13-16 Oct. 2003