Redline Communications Group, a leading provider of broadband wireless solutions for industrial machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, has announced the availability of the RAS Smart Antenna System. The solid state RAS is the first wireless broadband networking system that instantly locates, steers toward and connects to a network base station, automatically establishing reliable high speed connectivity to and from roving assets.
RAS, which stands for Rapid Auto Steering, brings a 360 degree field of view to the Redline RDL-3000 broadband wireless system, extending its use to include nomadic applications. Roving RAS-equipped rigs, vehicles and other equipment enjoy automatic, continuous and reliable wireless connectivity even as they move from place to place across large distances in rugged terrain and harsh environments.
The revolutionary RAS combines a unique antenna design with a newly engineered intelligent sensing system integrated into the RDL-3000. These features allow the RAS to automatically locate the closest base station, which might be many kilometres away, then use automatic beam forming and interference mitigation technology to establish and maintain wireless connections with speeds as fast as 100Mbps.
The RAS system was engineered for the unique networking requirements of operating in remote areas, as commonly found in oil and gas, military and utility applications. Its solid state antenna was specifically developed to eliminate moving parts, enhancing its ability to withstand shock, extended periods of vibration and almost any weather condition. Requiring no special training to operate, the RAS system enables multiple applications from a single vehicle or rig, including real-time M2M communications, SCADA, high resolution video, Wi-Fi, telephony and backhaul services.
"We engineered RAS to be as simple to use as a mobile phone; you just turn it on and it works," said Leigh Chang, associate vice president of product management at Redline Communications.
"This zero-touch operation is truly unique, allowing system users to focus on their work, not on setting up a network. Fully solid state with no moving parts, RAS not only instantly and automatically establishes the best possible connection, it auto-provisions itself, setting the appropriate security and quality of service (QoS) for myriad applications ranging from M2M to video, data and voice."
Other mobile networking options take significant time to setup and require specialised IT skills and training to operate. Omni directional antennas, such as those used in Wi-Fi access points, broadcast radio signals in all directions at once, limiting their range and creating uncontrolled RF interference.
Costly satellite-based connectivity not only requires more time and special training for setup and operation, its substantial latency makes it unsuitable for real-time applications. With high throughput, self-steering / self-aligning operation, a focused beam across a range exceeding 10km and low latency operation, RAS easily overcomes all competitive shortcomings.
Already shipping to oilfield operations around the world, RAS is now available globally. RAS is a member of Redline’s RDL-3000 family of Virtual Fiber wireless broadband systems and complies with all important connectivity standards.