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In case of maritime communications, we observe a growing interest in deployment of multitask satellite-based solutions and development of new maritime-specific systems intended for improvements in safety of e-navigation. Analysis of different types of currently used maritime communication systems leads, however, to a conclusion that neither global and still very expensive satellite systems nor cheaper, but short-ranged transmission technologies can, on their own, fully meet the today’s expectations and quality requirements formulated for broadband maritime systems. This lack of reliable solutions, offering high throughput and ubiquitous availability of coverage to a wide audience at a relatively low price is one of the main barriers in a widespread implementation of e navigation initiatives. This issue is addressed in the netBaltic project with the objective to design, deploy and validate in a real maritime environment a non-satellite wireless communication system enabling ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore information exchange via a multi hop network composed of onshore base stations, maritime vessels and other transit elements such as buoys. In this paper, the idea of a heterogeneous wireless maritime system is presented. Details of the proposed netBaltic node architecture are described highlighting the solutions introduced in the project as a response to specific maritime communication requirements. Numerical results of communication area coverage are presented for four different scenarios utilizing different wireless transmission technologies. In particular, they indicate that when using appropriate wireless communication solutions, the number of vessels being able to connect to Internet is significantly increased as compared to traditional wireless systems (capable of one-hop communication) from 14% for short-range transmission technologies up to as high as 127% in case when relatively long-range transmission technologies are employed within the system.


maritime communication systems, heterogeneous maritime network, mobility management, maritime mesh networks, delaytolerant networks


Vol. 25 No. 2(98) (2018)
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  • Michał Hoeft

    Gdansk University of Technology Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics
  • Krzysztof Gierłowski

    Gdansk University of Technology, Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics
  • Jacek Rak

    Gdansk University of Technology, Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics
  • Jozef Wozniak

    Gdansk University of Technology, Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics

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