The world is constantly changing, changing the naval operational environment, making it necessary to constantly evaluate on board operational procedures. When changing operational procedures, in depth specifications of the affected naval ship design is required.
The design of the Royal Netherlands Navy Air Defense & Command Frigates has been adapted to introduce new operational procedures on board Holland class Offshore Patrol Vessels. Actual examples of supporting new operational procedures are the relocation of OPS rooms, the introduction of central messing, the introduction of the I-mast 400 and last but not least, the introduction of the Wireless Communication and Messaging System©.
This website is about the Wireless Communication and Messaging System and how this communication system supports modern combat management
The Wireless Communication and Messaging System (WCMS) can use embedded and semi-automated procedures to manage, control and secure the streaming of information to and from crew members.
WCMS is designed to increase the situational awareness of the assigned asset in the deployed domain by adding up the situational awareness of each crewmember. In this way the system is capable of reducing the deployed asset response time in case of any calamity.
The Wireless Communication and Messaging System provides information management capabilities for all connected ship workable breakdown systems by connecting a secure and open communication platform using MERU and Hewlett Packard components to form the WCMS cloud.
In several operational situations, the commander would like to know the status of his crew. The Wireless Communication and Messaging System (WCMS) supports operational procedures like Abandon ship, Man over Board and Blanket Search. How WCMS supports – crew status related – operational procedures is explained in the next two examples.
Crew Status example-01
Assume the deployed asset is in the correct readiness state and a crew member outer deck WCMS disconnection occurs. Function based messaging will be used to notify the Officer of the Watch. The public announcement system will be used by the Officer of the Watch to confirm the Man Over Board alarm while the Williamson turn towards the exact Man Over Board location is initiated.
Crew Status example-02
In another situation when all crew members are WCMS connected, the system generates buddy check status questions and in this way providing a crew status overview in a split second. When a crew member is not responding the buddy status request in time, the assigned buddy will receive location information to check and report the buddy status more quickly.
Streaming Military Apps
The Wireless Communication and Messaging System (WCMS) is using app store security and/or application rights to enable cloud streams to the onboard crew member.
When the WCMS-network assigns a wireless endpoint based on auto-provisioning, the MAC is checked and Radius login occurs using security certificates. After assignation the system will present the correct user functions linked to the authorized apps on the endpoint device. When apps are streamed to the endpoint, the user is able to log in to the appropriate virtual back-end environment obtaining the information. The security level of the obtained information is decomposing due to data/time correlations.
The streamed apps are based on HMI messaging and therefore no data is stored only messages between the app and the HMI/back end are send (like a web browser). This ensures that the wireless device – when turned off or no longer in reach of the back end – has only to be cleared of the apps as data is no longer available. The wireless device is automatically disabled when disconnected from the WCMS. Certain “out off range” limits can be set in the back end to ensure proper functional operation in between endpoint push/pull requests when moving to another deck.
When a message has not been handled in time or in a proper manner set forth in the information management workflow, the system will escalate function based information to another level. This can be handled by the What’s-up workflow and/or an external 3rd party interfacing the device or the back end.
For the fixed – non wireless – WCMS endpoints the streaming technique is almost the same as for the wireless WCMS endpoints.