Mobile Ad-hoc Networking at Sea
Maritime organizations increasingly conduct operations at sea using multiple, possibly unmanned, ships. Video, image and data communication among those platforms is indispensable for such operations, while the distance between platforms at sea is generally relatively large. However, also non-maritime use cases like biodiversity monitoring and sporting events can be supported with MaritimeManet.
MaritimeManet is a novel wireless network concept that enables broadband, long-range wireless communications between ships at sea. For radio communication, a MaritimeManet node uses a number of beams arranged in a sunflower pattern, which collectively cover all directions and thus enable communication in all directions. The fundamental principle in MaritimeManet is to automatically discover other nodes, and to set up the strongest possible wireless connection between two nodes, i.e., selecting the beams at the nodes that form the strongest connection.
MaritimeManet has been built and tested at sea some years ago for the first time. The node implementation was based on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and OpenSource Software (OSS). These have all been integrated into mechanical frames such that the antennas have the correct orientation w.r.t. each other, as illustrated in the figure below. With two of such frames, a wireless communication link can be setup. Once established, data can be exchanged over this link.
All equipment used for the initial MaritimeManet implementation is available for research and experimentation. This assignment addresses the revitalizing of this wireless infrastructure, testing of its correct operation, and preparing it for follow-up research on 802.11s mesh wireless interfaces and BATMAN routing.
More specifically the group is asked:
- To investigate the correct operation of hardware and power supplies
- To investigate whether the currently installed OS and firmware (based on OpenWRT) is able to support the planned future research
- Design a few simple tests to check the correct operation of the network infrastructure.
Jan Laarhuis (email@example.com)