Long Range WiFi & the Internet of Things (IoT)

WiFi is fast becoming as important  as electricity to the successful operation and completion of projects and events.

Just like electricity, WiFi is not always available where you need it in a remote location, construction sites, satellite offices or for a temporary data link.WiFi link

Most people when they think of Internet of Things (if they do at all), think of connecting their toaster and their garage doors or their home heating. However, construction is the perfect place for IoT, In fact it could have been made just for IoT.

A construction site is always unique: it is normally over a large(ish) area, it has multiple complex operations ongoing simultaneously, each operation is new to that site, even if it has been done before, each area on a construction site is also unique with unique issues. Unforeseen problems have to be overcome on a daily basis, It is resource hungry and has a lot of very expensive specialised equipment and personnel.

Now imagine a site that had high bandwidth Wi-Fi across the majority of the working area. Think for a few minutes what that would give you in a fully connected site:

  • Engineers could pull the latest drawing off the server or just check a drawing on the fly
  • Surveys could be streamed/sent back to the office in real time and new data uploaded
  • Drones would be run of the mill, with data streamed back to the office, as required
  • Machine control excavators can have their data uploaded in real time and have cameras fitted so that the office/engineer can view what’s being dug at any time on their tablet/PC.
  • Augmented safety helmets will soon have Voice over IP (VOIP) connections back to the office, along with minicams so problems could be discussed whilst the office views real time site problems from the minicam and can offer a solution without the requirement for the expert personnel having to be on site – the office could be in New York or Shanghai it wouldn’t matter, (this is already possible just using the tablets/phones).
  • Safety helmets can have a pull down visor so that you can overlay the design onto what you are actually seeing out on site, with full 360 degree viewing, as in virtual reality.

https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/manufacturing-design/engineering-safety-with-smart-helmets

  • Additionally, the visor can overlay utility services and newly installed ducts/drainage so that you can literally see what is below your feet in the ground.
  • Every concrete pour can have sensors to warn of temperature anomalies and alarm if theyWiFi2 pass a particular threshold, this data can be used in handover files and QA.
  • Delivery trucks given a delivery card that would contain a IoT chip (costing pence) so that you know exactly what has been delivered and where it was tipped, thereby checking delivery quants on the fly
  • Everything from a Stihl saw to a tractor can be tracked around the site and it’s efficiency of use logged and flagged up, the area may be geo fenced so warning if an item is taken outside site.
  • Critical pumping operation can be remotely monitored and alarmed via SMS 24/7 to ensure they are working and for silt output, along with strain sensors on temporary works beams, piles and props
  • On site material testing; exact location and time of test and/or samples could be logged and uploaded on the fly
  • Geotechnical instrumentation such as piezo’s, inclinometers, water levels etc can be remotely monitored
  • Low cost time lapse camera units can be placed at strategic locations and viewed through an IP address with the photographs available on demand from the server.
  • All dumpers can be tracked in real time regardless of whether they are 6t or 40t, therefore tracking muck movement, interrogating the muck shift efficiency on the fly would become routine – In the very near future algorithms will keep tabs on a muck shift operation and automatically redirect dumpers/machines to different locations if it detects the operation becoming inefficient.
  • Not to mention excavators and dumpers in the longer term becoming driverless
  • This will become big data, all of which can be used to price and win the next contract

Taking it aWiFi3 stage further and into the future though, why have an enormous office set up? The only people required on a site would be the ones at the coal face so to speak. Non coal face personnel would not be required to be on the site at all times, as the data and visual information would be available at the touch of a button. This would give the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues back in HQ, whilst all of the collaborators are actually looking at the problem on a big screen. Possibly even in different countries and talking in real time to the person on site, thereby giving access to a wider pool of expertise at a lower cost base.

 

OfComUsing 5.8gHz point to point transceivers that are quick and easy to set up ensuring that any site, satellite office, event or area may be offered WiFi access. Intermediate transceivers can be installed to give access over long distances and wide areas. The systems can operate at 1000mbs over 25 kilometres, giving users the same access to data, audio, visual and control features that would be available to hard wired users.

A Fixed Wireless Access licence is required and is not expensive –  Remote Datum can assist in obtaining the licence and this should only take 10 to 14 days.

If you would like to discuss your requirements, please feel free to contact us.

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