In order for the Fremantle Port Authority to develop into a state-of-the-art digital port in the IIoT age, there were several obstacles to overcome in the environment of a busy port. Firstly, the port itself is a huge hostile RF environment. The constant movement rippled metal containers, proximity to an urban environment filled with Wi-Fi and LTE networks, and ship radars entering and exiting the port all create hurdles and roadblocks for RF signal to overcome. In addition, the sheer volume of activity needs to be handled by a large operation consisting of people, machinery, and infrastructure that all need to be connected via a wireless network. The network needs to be robust enough to ensure that real-time monitoring can be done to aid in efficiency, traffic congestion, and public safety for the port. A wireless mesh network was required to handle all these requirements and to connect and communicate with the fiber optic LAN throughout the Fremantle Ports inner harbor.
In order to deliver a network that is intelligent, scalable, resilient, secure, and above all, easy to use for the client, a Rajant Kinetic Mesh would be installed at the port. Once deployed, the network requires zero configuration, alignment, or management from technical staff for any necessary location changes of the mobile assets. Anyone who can tow a trailer can park it within the coverage areas, stand it up, turn it on, and have the live-feeds streaming back to the control room in just a few minutes. The majority of the network at the port is built up by Rajant’s KM3 BreadCrumbs® which have dual radios to provide extra redundancy. Key network locations were powered by LX5 BreadCrumbs with four radios, providing both frequency and channel redundancy as well as bolstering important wireless links in the network. A SlipStream unit was included in the design to handle the data’s encapsulation between the wired and wireless networks providing plenty of bandwidth headroom for future expansion. Once the system was up and running, the network can be fully managed by BC|Commander with BC|MeshMapper providing the ability to view real-time network information. This makes everything easy to configure, updatable over the air, and to provide snapshots for diagnostics