Shore Powered Telecommunication Systems


When military ships are at berth, standard practice is to power down their engines and run utilities from shore side power.  Waterfront Telecommunication Systems, such as Pier Riser Telecom Stations, are one of several utilities that are connected to pier side power.

In the past two decades technology has grown rapidly, thus enabling and further improving communications and data transmissions over various networks; commonly referred to as telecommunications or telecom.  A telecommunication network is a collection of terminal nodes, links, and any intermediate nodes which are connected to send signals between the terminals.

The transmission links connect the nodes together.  The nodes use circuit switching, message switching or packet switching to pass the signal through the correct links and nodes to reach the correct destination terminal.

Each terminal in the network usually has a unique address so messages or connections can be routed to the correct recipients.  The collection of addresses in the network is called the address space.

Examples of telecommunications networks are:

  • Computer Networks
  • Internet
  • Telephone Network
  • TCP/IP Data Network
  • CAT TV

All telecommunication networks are made up of five basic components that are present in each network environment regardless of type or use.  These basic components include terminals, telecommunications processors, telecommunications channels, computers, and telecommunications control software.

  • Terminals are the starting and stopping points in any telecommunication network environment.  Any input or output device that is used to transmit or receive data can be classified as a terminal component (i.e. a telephone is a terminal).
    • Nodes equipped with three or more channels, switch the information received between links to direct it towards its terminal node.
  • Telecommunications processors support data transmission and reception between terminals and computers by providing a variety of control and support functions. (i.e. convert data from digital to analog and back).
  • Telecommunications channels are the way by which data is transmitted and received. These channels are created through a variety of media of which the most popular include copper wires and coaxial cables (structured cabling) and wireless radio frequencies.  Fiber-optic cables are increasingly used to bring faster and more robust connections to businesses and homes.
    • An optical fiber is a flexible, transparent fiber made of high quality extruded glass (silica) or plastic, slightly thicker than a human hair. It can function as a waveguide, or “light pipe”, to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber.  Power over Fiber (PoF) optic cables can also work to deliver an electric current for low power electric devices.
  • In a telecommunication environment computers are connected through media to perform their communication assignments.
  • Telecommunications control software is present on all networked computers and is responsible for controlling network activities and functionality.

Network Structure:
In general, every telecommunications network conceptually consists of three parts, or planes (so called because they can be thought of as being, and often are, separate overlay networks):

  • The control plane carries control information (also known as signaling).
  • The data plane or user plane or bearer plane carries the networks users’ traffic.
  • The management plane carries the operations and administration traffic required for network management.

The data network is used extensively throughout the world to connect individuals and organizations. Data networks can be connected to allow users seamless access to resources that are hosted outside of the particular provider they are connected to. The Internet is the best example of many data networks from different organizations all operating under a single address space.

Terminals attached to TCP/IP networks are addressed using IP addresses. Each unique address consists of 4 integers between 0 and 255, usually separated by dots when written down, e.g.

TCP/IP’s are the fundamental protocols that provide the control and routing of messages across the data network. There are many different network structures that TCP/IP can be used across to efficiently route messages, for example:

  • wide area networks (WAN)
  • metropolitan area networks (MAN)
  • local area networks (LAN)
  • Internet area networks (IAN)
  • campus area networks (CAN)
  • virtual private networks (VPN)

Waterfront Telecommunication Assemblies:
The networks and components described herein are typically housed in an enclosure designed for year-round protection from the harsh marine environment.  The enclosures vary in size, style and material depending on the installation location (indoor versus outdoor), purpose, and climate. As such, protecting sensitive communications equipment in the most extreme environments built for commercial and/or defense and security applications.

Companies in the telecommunications industry rely on custom Type 4X and Type 3R electrical boxes from ESL to protect their sensitive and costly equipment. These telecommunication cabinets meet stringent standards to protect important functions and controls from extreme environments.  From wall mount to free standing telecommunications enclosures; our waterfront enclosures are engineered to protect wires, integrated power and communication cabling, power shelves, cable management and security to comply with our customer’s requirements for equipment installed on wharf decks.

ESL telecom stations are available with marine-grade plywood back panels that provide the structural rigidity and integrity to mount specialized communication equipment in any custom pattern including wire, cable, and ground bus bar termination points.  These custom waterfront assemblies also include, but are not limited to, hinged doors and choice of size, color, and mounting.


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