Surface Forces: March 5, 2003


The U.S. Navy is taking advantage of its shipboard internet connections to perform repairs at sea that normally have to wait for return to port. Pictures of the damaged equipment can be transmitted back to engineers and shipyard technicians, who can then evaluate the situation and decide if the work can be done at sea. If so, the experts back on land can even supervise the work via a webcam and constant audio contact with the sailors doing the repairs. With this technique, the navy feels it can extend the number of years a ship can remain in service before having to return to the shipyard for major overhaul and maintenance. At the very least, this new technique has made it possible for ships at sea to keep more of their equipment in working order and avoid trips back to port for repairs requiring specialists.


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