MeshDynamics has enhanced its industry-leading MD4000 third generation WiFi wireless mesh nodes with new features offering better performance and reliability in mobile or mixed fixed/mobile environments. The new software, called Persistent 3rd-Generation Mesh (P3M) is intended for dynamic military, transportation, and public safety applications, as well as in critical applications such as mine safety.
In recent tests, the company demonstrated persistent high-throughput and low-delay and low-jitter networking as mobile wireless mesh nodes connected automatically with other mobile and fixed wireless mesh nodes. As some elements of the network moved out of WiFi range from other nodes, they automatically formed into separate independent networks, allowing communication to continue. When brought back into range, these network elements seamlessly reconnected with the rest of the network. All of this occurred without any operator intervention or reconfiguration and the process takes place in a fraction of a second.
MeshDynamics MD4000 nodes are already being used in tactical battlefield environments to transmit video, voice, and sensor data between moving armored vehicles. The new P3M features now allow for smaller groups that become separated from the main formation or column to maintain the same high performance among themselves while isolated, and then automatically rejoin the larger force when they again come into range.
The P3M features have also been proven in demanding underground mining environments, where possible cave-ins and other disasters may lead to a section of the network becoming isolated from the main portion of the network. With P3M technology, miners in the isolated sections may still communicate with one another, providing persistent Voice-over-IP and location capabilities and potentially speeding rescue.
Third-generation wireless mesh networking has always delivered higher performance in rooted environments than does traditional wireless mesh technology. This is primarily achieved through imposing a logical Structured MeshTM topology on the mesh network, with uplink and downlink paths minimizing turnaround and multiple radios optimizing performance. Typically, the "uplink" and "downlink" determinations have been made by the nodes themselves at network start-up, based on the location of the fixed fiber or copper connection to the Internet or enterprise backbone.
But the new P3M technology allows the nodes to structure the network dynamically, even if there is no fixed connection anywhere in the network or if the fixed connection is lost. Patent-pending route-finding algorithms permit the nodes to establish the optimal topology rapidly and to reconfigure quickly as nodes move in relation to one another and any fixed points. This allows for persistent high-performance networking, regardless of the topology formed by the mobile nodes.