Summaries - Office of Research & Innovation
Back Shipboard Deployment Testing of Light Fidelity (LiFi) with Power Line Communications (PLC)
|Division||Research & Sponsored Programs|
|Department||NPS Naval Research Program|
Brutzman, Donald P.
|Sponsor||NPS Naval Research Program (Navy)|
Feasibility work on Light Fidelity (LiFi) data communications with Power Line Communications (PLC) and/or Power over Ethernet (PoE) is sufficiently advanced to merit integration testing of secure unclassified LiFi links aboard a Navy ship. Our applied research goal is to help accelerate Navy deployment of a vital new capability.
Ongoing NPS research in Network Optional Warfare (NOW) and shipboard Light Fidelity (LiFi) research have shown that light communication has the potential to decouple personnel networking from sensitive shipboard networking. At the same time, LiFi can reduce significantly the electromagnetic (EM) radiation and TEMPEST vulnerabilities, thus, lowering the probability of intercept as well as interference.
From prior efforts on NRP project NPS-17-N091-C and NRP project NPS-18-N186-B, researchers are showing that LiFi can be combined with Power Line Communication (PLC) using shipboard 120-VAC circuit to provide private and secure networks. The effective range of LiFi communications is limited to the area where LED lights are installed, which greatly reduces interceptability but also makes deployment planning more complex.
Naval surface warships have typically upgraded onboard lighting systems to utilize LED fixtures that are themselves compatible with LiFi networking equipment. However cable distribution for network data remains quite difficult and even problematic for nontrivial distances. PLC has security considerations but Power over Ethernet (PoE) offer the promise of avoiding separate cabling requirements, if existing lighting circuits and Cat5E cables can be adapted to support such networking without interference or impacts with other ship systems. Integration analysis and evaluation of an actual shipboard environment are needed in order to properly project full-scale deployment requirements for the surface fleet.
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