No matter how well a wireless mesh network is planned and deployed, bad things happen to it over time. Devices are added. New applications are supported. Antennae are moved. A new setting is not optimized. Infrastructure is poorly located. Batteries are down. Suddenly, the network is not working as it should. Read more →
Every once in a while, the concept of free, powerful, nationwide WiFi coverage regains the spotlight. The latest proposal, from the FCC, involves tapping unused television spectrum to ‘blanket’ many under-served areas across the country. This is not a new issue, and has been proposed in various forms over the past five or six years. The proliferation of WiFi-enabled devices, however, along with the perceived lack of available spectrum, makes this more of a mainstream issue now. Read more →
Although the sight of lumbering, rusty freight cars may lead some to believe that railroads are an antiquated industry, quite the opposite is true. Railroads are a growth industry. In 2012 alone, companies were forecasted to invest a record $13 billion in 2012 to expand, upgrade, and enhance the nation’s freight rail network. Read more →
As communities in the Northeast continue to deal with the devastating aftermath of ‘superstorm’ Sandy, the emergency preparedness of the nation’s wireless carriers comes under renewed scrutiny. The widespread cellular service outages that accompanied Sandy’s landfall on October 29th and 30th linger on in some areas, causing many to question just how much progress has been made in shoring up wireless infrastructure in the years since Hurricane Katrina decimated the Gulf Coast. Read more →
As MINExpo International 2012 kicks off this week, we’re reminded of just how much an old, established industry can change in just a few years. Looking at the list of exhibitors and the abstracts for educational sessions at the conference, it’s not hard to see how the role of data has grown and assumed a central role in mine operations.
Data in the mine has grown exponentially since the last MINExpo, with new applications, sensors and interfaces contributing to the flow. Mines face constant pressure to increase productivity, ensure compliance, and enhance safety. Maintenance can no longer be reactive, but pre-emptive and proactive – with the ability to identify emerging issues before they become problematic. It’s all about the data, and leveraging it as actionable intelligence. Read more →
During a recent technical training session for our sales team, Rajant Chief Technology Officer Paul Helhake dusted off a little bit of Rajant history to share with the group. Two of the original BreadCrumb portable mesh transceivers (pictured above) were opened up, and passed around. Read more →
To the layman, which includes most of us, mining operations are a gritty, noisy, dusty and often perilous undertaking involving huge machines and intrepid men burrowing deep into the earth to access and remove valuable materials. It’s all mammoth trucks, scoops, conveyor belts, drilling and explosions – carried out in rugged, remote locations. Read more →
Perhaps the most-quoted of Newton’s Laws of Motion states that to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. And, in a non-physical sense, this concept applies to GPS and cellular signals and the “jamming” technology that has emerged in recent years. Today, numerous web sites offer “cell jammers” and other devices designed to block forms of radio communications in vehicles, schools, restaurants, theatres, and other places. Read more →
A series of recent equipment failures and resulting oil spills in Canada has renewed concerns over pipeline safety and monitoring and environmental impact in Alberta and Saskatchewan – particularly in light of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Oil sands, in particular, pose new problems in transportation. They must be cut with chemicals, heated, and pumped at high pressure, which increases the likelihood of a spill. Read more →
There’s been renewed discussion lately surrounding the wireless spectrum shortage, and whether it’s truly a shortage or a matter of mis-allocation. The calls for government to free up more radio spectrum for wireless communications are resonating again, while a growing number of consumers are complaining about lack of service. Factor in the explosive growth of bandwidth-intensive mobile data, the growing popularity of mobile apps, and escalating sales of smart phones, and the urgency of the situation becomes clear.