Imagine a fully-mobile, multi-frequency wireless broadband network that is self-establishing, self-healing, requires minimal administration or maintenance, and grows stronger with the addition of each new node. With all nodes able to be in motion at all times, vehicles, equipment and individuals outfitted with portable nodes need not be tethered to fixed, immobile network components. Such ‘kinetic mesh’ networks are not just a wishful vision of the future networking, but are in wide use today – providing high-availability broadband connectivity for voice, data and video applications in the military, mining, first responders and other markets.
Further extending the utility of this fully-mobile broadband mesh technology, Rajant, the pioneer of kinetic mesh networks and provider of pervasive, multi-frequency wireless solutions, today introduced three powerful and flexible additions to its BreadCrumb® portfolio. Using Rajant’s advanced InstaMesh protocol, BreadCrumbs enable continuous and instantaneous routing of wireless and wired connections. This dynamic channel-hopping capability allows for total network mobility – kinetic meshing – as well as robust fault tolerance, high throughput and low latency.
The Rajant BreadCrumb LX4 is the latest in the family of rugged multi-radio wireless transmitter-receivers that are the ideal fixed-mount solution for relaying transmissions across multiple frequencies.
The Rajant BreadCrumb LX4 supports up to four high-power radios in a single unit for maximum resiliency and flexibility, and has a faster processor than the Rajant BreadCrumb LX3. With options for 900MHz, 2.4GHz, 4.9GHz and 5GHz (LoS and NLos), the LX4 is the most advanced multi-radio node in the BreadCrumb family. It also features 10/100 Ethernet for internet connectivity, USB for firmware upgrades and a GPS port. As with all members of the BreadCrumb family, it supports secure connectivity with any Ethernet or 802.11a/b/g client equipment – ensuring full compatibility with millions of off-the-shelf devices including laptops, PDAs, IP cameras, sensors, VoIP phones and other IP gear.
The Rajant BreadCrumb ME3 is another man-packable, battery-operated portable transceiver designed to support applications that require quick network connectivity. The ME3 includes a faster processor than its predecessor, the BreadCrumb ME2, and an N-Type antenna connector, which allows interoperability of antennas between the BreadCrumb LX and ME models.
The Rajant BreadCrumb JR is the most portable member of the product family, intended primarily for client participation in a kinetic mesh network. Highly portable and battery-powered, the BreadCrumb JR is a full-function InstaMesh client featuring a 2.4GHz high-power radio and 7Mbps maximum throughput. Measuring just 7.3in x 1.5in x 1.4in, it is readily attached to personnel or vehicles on the move to provide network connectivity. The BreadCrumb JR includes a GPS port and the same level of security as the BreadCrumb LX line.
“The essence of kinetic mesh networking is motion and flexibility,” commented Rajant co-founder and CEO Robert Schena. “And these three new models provide a combination of power, portability and rugged construction for a wide range of applications. Using Rajant’s InstaMesh technology, these nodes communicate with other BreadCrumb nodes in motion to provide dynamic, on-the-fly frequency changes to adapt to physical surroundings or network availability. These capabilities, coupled with high-level data encryption and mesh-to-mesh authentication, allow for scalable, reliable broadband connectivity that can readily scale to hundreds of devices. Remember, all nodes can move all the time, all clients can move all the time and all application data can use all radios.”
Portability and power for future applications
The concept of kinetic mesh networks has valuable real-world applications extending far beyond the markets currently served. Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications is just one emerging area where fully mobile broadband networking could add considerable value – and effectively transform a vehicle into a dynamic, mobile networking device.
By using Rajant technology already proven in challenging, bandwidth- and application-intensive environments, and marrying it to existing on-board vehicle diagnostic systems, automobile manufacturers and dealers and fleet managers, could realize instant, substantial business benefits. Consumers would benefit from the added safety, fuel economy, and pre-emptive maintenance benefits that ultimately prolong the life of a vehicle. Future V2V applications range from providing full broadband connectivity to the vehicle along with related applications such as vehicle condition monitoring and reporting, traffic routing, collision avoidance, emergency communications, Internet radio, smart phone extension and more.
In addition to V2V communications, kinetic mesh network technology enables immediate and future applications for municipalities wishing to extend broadband coverage, telecommunications providers seeking to leverage unused spectrum, utility companies pursuing operational efficiencies, and other markets where high-availability mobile broadband networking is required.
- Rajant’s BreadCrumb LX4 transceiver is currently only available for military use and pending receipt of FCC certification for civilian or commercial use
- The BreadCrumb ME3 is currently deployed in support of the military in Afghanistan and has received FCC approval for civilian or commercial use
- The BreadCrumb JR has received FCC approval for civilian or commercial use and is available immediately in limited quantities