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[ISN] Navy floats on-board Wifi


By Patrick Marshall

In a first, the U.S. Navy has approved the use of 802.11g wireless 
devices for use by personnel boarding suspect vessels.

Overseen by the Navy's Program Executive Office for C4I, the Expanded 
Maritime Interception Operations (EIMO) wireless system provides a data 
link between crews on interdicted vessels and their home ship up to a 
few nautical miles away. Unlike a simple radio unit, these wireless 
links can transmit biometric data, scanned documents, digital photos and 
e-mail from the boarding team, allowing near real-time analysis of such 
artifacts. The units use the 802.11g wireless protocol and Federal 
Information Processing Standard 140-2 encryptions standards.

The Office of Naval Research commissioned this project in March 2006. 
The EMIO wireless system is designed not to interfere with other 
shipboard systems and to meet all operational requirements, including 
security requirements. According to a press release from the Navy, the 
system “mitigates the critical issue of timely data accessibility that 
impacts decision-making, safety and data preservation.”

The first installation of the system was on the USS Cole in April 2007.

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