Scientists from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and Mercury Continuity (MC) have tested the tactical reachback extended communications (TREC) system in the Port of Miami, US.
A full-duplex connection was made between a node on top of a 760ft-tall building near the harbour and one on the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sky ship.
The NRL-developed system offers a very-high data rate transmission over long ranges.
The NRL said that the team achieved data rates of 720Mbps, more than the current data connectivity that vessels have in the harbour.
TREC will also have civilian applications, with MC planning to introduce a modified commercial TREC configurations for maritime and energy customers by the end of the year.
MC CEO Adam Jaffe said: "Beyond the relatively niche sector servicing commercial cruise lines and yachts, there is a substantially broader base of government and civilian customers who have long been eager for a wireless communications solution with ‘TREC-like’ capabilities."
Before the demonstration, the team had put the ship node on a chartered vessel for two different trials to confirm the operation and tracking of the terminals, as well as to establish and validate test procedures for cruise ship testing.
The test was part of a cooperative research and development agreement with MC and Intelligent Designs.
Image: The TREC test assembly shown on the charter vessel as it enters the Port of Miami. Photo: courtesy of US NRL.