Telecommunication researchers at the University of Sydney have designed an industrial long-range Wi-Fi system that maintains high data rates while transmitting signals to places that are difficult to reach. This is unlike existing systems, which have high-latency, short-communication ranges of less than 100 meters and are primarily designed for indoor applications. These features make them unsuitable for critical applications.
The system is being developed for crucial applications in underground mines, which require control of sensitive equipment and remote-worker monitoring, with signals that extend a few kilometers underground. The developers assert that the system could also be utilized in university campuses, shopping centers, airports, large agricultural and industrial settings, and more.
The Wi-Fi system possesses many qualities, including high data rates and ultra-low latency. Low latency refers to a network that’s working at an optimum level to process a high volume of data with minimal delay. These abilities enable wireless signals that are carrying heavy data loads to travel several kilometers without experiencing lag or dropping out.
In a media statement, lead researcher Yonghui Li stated that while Wi-Fi was a transformative and tremendous invention, it was afflicted by high latency and short range, which made it prone to dropping out and rendered it patchy. Li explained that the signal quality when current systems in use were deployed in big areas such as underground mines was often poor as well as expensive.
The new system, on the other hand, is the first global high-rate, long-range Wi-Fi system that supports both multiple-access and mobile terminals and is compatible with standard Wi-Fi systems. Li believes that the system, which is cost effective and guarantees low latency, can be used for highly sensitive work.
Their solution, which opens up numerous possibilities for real-time data, image and surveillance transmission, can also be used with existing Wi-Fi infrastructure as it integrates new protocols with Wi-Fi chips. The system also helps improve issues with connectivity.
Li also revealed that adapting existing Wi-Fi systems was vital to the project because billions of dollars’ worth of Wi-Fi infrastructure is already in use in mines across the globe. In addition, Li explained that high-data-rate, low-latency and long-range Wi-Fi networks would be a key facet of the Internet-of-Things (“IoT”) economy and 6G technologies.
Project co-lead Branka Vucetic explained that this was because current short-range technologies wouldn’t be able to meet the requirements of new IoT applications. The research was funded by an $800,000 grant from the NSW Physical Sciences Fund.
Mining companies such as StraightUp Resources Inc. (CSE: ST) (OTCQB: STUPF) may see benefits from this type of improved system out in the field.
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