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Naval Shipboard Communications Systems

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Naval Shipboard Communications Systems


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  • Copyright 1995
  • Dimensions: 7 x 9 1/4
  • Pages: 450
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-613498-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-613498-5

Naval communications is constantly evolving and adopting modern technology drawn from all aspects of engineering disciplines. This all-in-one reference is designed specifically for engineers who understand communications, but who need to become familiar with the specifics of U.S. Naval shipboard communications and methods. KEY TOPICS: Explores, from a theoretical and practical engineering system level point of view, both external and intra-platform components — communication requirements, technical background for understanding the naval communications architecture, the communications subsystems used by the navy (from ELF to EHF), equipment for implementation, operation procedures, configuration control, and logistical support considerations. MARKET: For engineers who understand communications, but who need to become familiar with the specifics of U.S. Naval shipboard communications and methods.

Sample Content


The mission of the U.S. Navy, stated in Title 10, U.S. Code, is to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations at sea in support of the U.S. national interest. This also means that the U.S. Navy must effectively assure continued maritime superiority for the United States.

Derived from that are the Navy's two basic functions: sea control and power projection.

Effective communications is vitally important to fulfill this mission, and for this the U.S. Navy depends on a worldwide Command, Control, and Communications (C3) capability.

Naval communications is constantly evolving and adopting modern technology. Satellite communications and modern networking is a part of the repertoire of naval communications technology.

The development of communications and data processing technology is fostering significant changes in the manner in which the Navy is communicating among ships and between ship and shore. The chain of operations from sender to receiver includes message format processing, relaying to a communications center, protection to prevent unauthorized intrusion and to guarantee transmission integrity, modulation for optimum sending over the medium, transmission, reception, removal of the protection, and distribution to the recipient.

Naval shipboard communications combines advanced technology with operational procedures, and uses ruggedized equipment that can be maintained with limited resources in the harsh environment of the sea. All aspects of engineering disciplines are applied to provide this essential capability to the U.S. Navy. It includes not only technological aspects but also operational procedures, configuration control, and logistic support considerations. The most advanced technology has little value if it cannot be operated and maintained by naval personnel under stressful conditions.

This book focuses on shipboard communications.

Shipboard communications has an exterior component, dealing with antennas, transmitters, and receivers, in short the classical exterior communications (EXCOMM). It also has and intraplatform component dealing with the shipboard distribution system, the communications processors in the communications rooms, and the procedures for processing messages. In this book we discuss the technologies and circuits of all frequency regions used for naval communications, from ELF to optical frequencies.

The shipboard EXCOMM spans a wide spectrum. At the low end of the spectrum, ELF with frequencies from 70 to 80 Hz penetrates seawater and allows very narrowband transmission to submerged submarines. In the VLF region from 10 to 30 kHz, the Navy operates long-range narrowband TTY circuits largely unencumbered by the vagaries of propagation. HF supports long-distance circuits, VHF, UHF, and SHF support line-of-sightcommunications among ships and between ships and aircraft. EHF, 30 to 300 GHZ, supports the latest satellite communications technology.

Optical frequencies, at the high end of the spectrum, penetrate seawater and can be used for communications to submerged submarines. A modern Navy ship has many communications, radar, guidance, and weapons systems, all of which require antennas. These antennas, many of which are clearly visible when one sees a naval ship, others of which are small, unobtrusive structures blending with the ship's hull, transmit and receive electromagnetic signals that can interfere with each other severely. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is an essential part of shipboard electronic engineering to assure that naval communications are functioning well.

Intraplatform communications provide the interfaces through which the electromagnetic signal is brought from the topside antennas into the ship and are distributed within the ship for processing the communicated information.

Protocols, that is, message formats and methods to accomplish the data and message transmission, are essential for naval communications. Message standards are vital to assure Navy-wide and interservice uniformity and understandability of the message context.

However, the adherence to standards and formats can also cause problems, which most of us know from working with data processing equipment when we see such messages as: Incorrect parameter specified.

Training to understand the standards applied and message composition processing support systems is essential to naval communications procedures.

This book has grown out of our work: many projects, and immersion into the subject. We have seen the need to bring a lecture series to our junior colleagues, borne out of strictly technical as well as Navy communications practice-related questions which we were asked. Some of the material exists in the open literature and in specialized books, much is in unclassified documents, such as procedures and equipment descriptions. Our contribution was to gather and unify this material and present it in this volume.

This book is intended as a reference textbook for engineers who understand communications and need to become familiar with Navy communications methods and procedures. For example, when one thinks of satellite communications, one envisions broadband and high-speed transmission. Not so in naval satellite communications-- here strategic satellites provide narrow-band dedicated circuits, in many cases protected against jamming. We have tried to bridge such gaps of perception and do it without touching on sensitive military aspects.

The authors wish to acknowledge the support and assistance we have received in preparing this book. In particular, our thanks go to Dr. John M. Gormally, TRW Inc., for encouragement with this project. Our thanks also go to RADM Ronald Wilgenbusch (USN Ret.), Booz, Allen & Hamilton Inc., for comments that helped focus on some of the key issues confronting Navy communications; Dr. Gunther Brunhardt, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, provided us with encouraging comments.

We cannot begin to list all persons who helped obtain the photographs for the pictures shown in this book, but we are grateful for the help we received from Mr. John W. Eadie, Naval Sea Systems Command, who provided us with pictures of the shipboard antennas, and Mr. Robert Scruitsky, Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Activities, St. Inigoes, MD, and Mr. Terrence R. Connor, TRACOR INC., who helped us with pictures taken at the Aegis Land Based Test Site.

We also wish to thank all people who helped us in the preparation of the manuscript of this book. EIM wishes to thank his wife Erni for the initial translation of handwritten notes into typed form, and patience during the time it took to prepare the material; JCK wishes to thank his family, Rahn, Janet, William, and Douglas; in particular, Douglas's help in reading the manuscript and pointing out potential improvements is appreciated.


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