CommScope gets Italian sailing team’s Wi-Fi connection in shipshape for race

The Wi-Fi network will carry data from onboard sensors and devices to support boats

CommScope will connect Italy’s Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailboat team’s 75-foot long AC75 racing yacht with Ruckus Wi-Fi equipment during the PRADA Cup.

The Ruckus Wi-Fi network will carry data from hundreds of onboard sensors and devices to a local server and to accompanying support boats. The yacht is also equipped with mobile devices, wearables and on-board instrumentation, which will all produce data that must be gathered in any type of weather condition and regardless of signal obstruction from materials in the boat itself.

While the race is underway, critical data, such as knot speed, GPS coordinates, tide, wind and weather conditions, and other nautical details will be continuously transmitted to the support boat, which is outfitted with Ruckus access points.

The team’s Operations Manager Gilberto Nobili explained just how challenging of an endeavor this deployment is, commenting, “Wi-Fi signals can be attenuated by dozens of hostile factors in the America’s Cup from winds and weather to obstructive steel in the hangar and carbon in the boats.”

However, because the Ruckus APs incorporate proprietary adaptive antenna technology, the signals can be automatically steered around obstacles.

“Communications disruption is unacceptable no matter what the conditions. Ruckus performs flawlessly on-premises when we have the boat in the hangar and in the water while sailing,” said Nobili.

CommScope is also providing the team with Ruckus Cloudpath, which the company said will “ensure rigorous end-to-end network security, without administrative or operational complexity” by issuing a digital certificate to staff members, and once authorized there is no need to re-enter credentials. Further, because Cloudpath links every device with a user, rogue devices are prevented from accessing the network.

The PRADA CUP is being held January 15 to the end of February 2021 and will feature racing teams from Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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