Large Ship Marine Connectivity


#1


Environment:

A large ocean going vessel that regularly undertakes complicated sea based projects.

The vessel has an onboard communications room that is deep within the steel hull where all onboard structured cabling terminates, and all communication antenna arrays are located abovedecks in multiple mast mounted positions.

The vessel spends extended periods at sea as well as undertaking projects in coastal waters. In between active operations, the vessel is moored close to shore and in harbours.

Requirement:

The intelligent use of directional ship to shore directional Wi-Fi, multiple cellular and satellite internet connections depending on the vessels location (and so available service coverage). With the lower cost internet links being prioritised. This is to reduce the use of the satellite internet connectivity where bandwidth costs are high in comparison.

The vessel needs to have dual VSAT internet connections, dual directional wifi antennas (fore and aft of the vessel) and requires a minimum of 4 LTE cellular connections that should be managed by the solution.

The ability to connect to shore based Wi-FI networks (for example in harbours and marinas) when in proximity/range using an onboard directional Wi-Fi antenna.

Full onboard WiFi network coverage for up to 500 crew members.

Secure VPN connectivity back to corporate headquarters using whatever WAN connectivity is available, with the option to bond multiple links to increase the total available bandwidth.

Recommended Solution:

Due to the placement of the comms room deep within the hull of the vessel, two HD2 IP67 units are installed above decks to provide the cellular connectivity (2 x LTE cellular modems per device). These can be connected via CAT6 data cabling and powered using POE for easy installation.

Dual BR1 IP55 routers are installed above decks as directional Wi-Fi antennas - these are again powered using POE.

All above decks equipment including the existing dual VSAT modules are cabled back to the below decks comms cabinet and connected to the WAN ports of a Balance 710 in the comms rack.

WAN priority is set to achieve lowest cost routing based on WAN availability (so only directional wifi is used when available, then cellular as the vessel moves to coastal waters, then satellite when at sea).

On the LAN of the Balance 710 multiple AP300 access points are deployed for crew device internet access (POE powered).

The Balance 710 acts as an AP controller for the deployed APs, providing centralised management and configuration of the deployed wifi network.

Captive portal is used on the wireless network to control crew bandwidth usage.

User Group bandwidth management and application QoS is used to guarantee and reserve bandwidth for core business requirements.

Additional Notes:

Each BR1 IP55 that is being used as directional Wi-Fi antennas also has an inbuilt cellular modem, and so can be used as an additional cellular WAN link if required (so 6 cellular modems in total).

The Balance 710 has 7 WAN ports with only 6 used in this configuration. This allows for an additional tethered cabled internet WAN to be connected if in dock when available/required.

As well as below decks wireless networking, IP67 rated AP Pro Duo’s can be used above decks to provide wireless networking externally also.

Devices Deployed: Balance 710, MAX HD2 IP67, BR1 IP55, AP300, AP Pro.