Ships built today are larger in scale and feature more complex structures. The ever-evolving systems used on board a ship require vast amounts of data processing. In the future, with the advent of smart ships, unmanned ships and other next-generation ships, the volumes of data to be processed will continue to increase. Yet, to date, ship data has been processed using wired networks. Placed at fixed locations, the nodes on wired networks often fail to process data from mobile devices. Despite many attempts made to use Wi-Fi on ships just as on land to create wireless networks, Wi-Fi has hardly been available due to the complex metal structures of ships. Therefore, Wi-Fi on ships has been patchy as the ship-wide total Wi-Fi coverage has not properly implemented. A new ship-wide wireless network environment is part of the technology conducive to the shipbuilding industry. The wireless network environment should not only serve the purpose of communication but also be able to manage and control multiple features in real-time: fault diagnostics, tracking, accident prevention and safety management. To better understand the characteristics of wireless frequencies for ships, this paper tests the widely used TETRA, UHF and Wi-Fi and sheds light on the features, advantages and disadvantages of each technology in ship settings. The proposed deployment of a Super Wi-Fi network leveraging the legacy UHF system of TMS generates a ship-wide wireless network environment. The experimental findings corroborate the feasibility of the proposed ship-wide Super Wi-Fi network environment.
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