US Navy Ship Management and Logistics Support Information Systems (SMLIS)
The US Navy required support in the development, maintenance and deployment of quality information technology systems and products in support of the Maintenance and Logistics community. Main Sail provided support in the performance of a host of activities to ensure the successful development, deployment, implementation and operation of the agency software tools. Main Sail provided Software Development and Implementation, Production Hosting Support, Process Analysis and Reengineering, Training, Testing, and Documentation.
A specific task order was issued to Main Sail in support of a mobile technology enablement project, chartered to advance toward a net-centric environment in direct alignment with the agencies vision for enterprise mobility. The goal is to establish a wireless communications infrastructure at the industrial facility to enable a more efficient communications network through mobile workforce devices such as Lap Top computers, Blackberry’s, PDA’s and iPhone comparable touch screen devices. These devices will allow the workforce access to the information they require on the work site, thus promoting a more efficient and interactive problem resolution network. The program will also leverage the advantages offered by passive RFID tags to allow tracking of warehouse material, ripout material, and other tagged items.
Main Sail managed and provided the alternative solutions analysis, functional design, detailed estimate and schedule for the recommended solution and business case analysis necessary to develop wireless communication, problem Identification and notification capability and RFID tracking solutions desired. The vast size of the facility presented unique challenges to the Main Sail team to design a semi-portable solution that is capable of fully covering the areas of interest with wireless coverage at the time the coverage is required but at the same time, not requiring the expense of providing wireless coverage to the complete shipyard. The problem was mitigated by mixing easily re-locatable self-healing access points with line of site point-to-point equipment in order to permit the shipyard to easily cover the required areas.
Another technical challenge of the project was to provide a solution that would permit temporary wireless capabilities through the hulls and walls of ships being overhauled pier side. The steel construction of the ship and the constant movement of the deck plate workers throughout the ship provided the team with many challenges. The problems were overcome by designing a FIPS 140-2 compliant solution using Power Line Networking (PLN) to transport the network signal into the ship to provide for establishment of a local 802.11 wireless environment in areas requiring connectivity as the deckplate workers relocated within the hull to do their work.