If I had to identify generational gains in technologies exhibited at SOFIC 2015, in Tampa, it would be Persistent Systems’ Wave Relay. Undoubtedly, the term is new to readers so I’ll devote a bit of space to provide you with a 50,000 foot view.
Wave Relay is best described as Ethernet over r.f.; in fact, many of the layer 1 and layer 2 functions are precisely the same as Ethernet.
Readers old enough to remember IBM’s token ring technology, affectionally referred to by IT professional as “broken ring”, was touted by IBM over Ethernet. IBM’s claim was that Ethernet’s throughput was lower because of collisions and retransmission, which was clearly a bogus claim. In fact, I have yet to see a properly designed Ethernet network reach a bandwidth limit.
In layman’s terms what happens on an Ethernet network is when a device needs to communicate, it broadcasts the address of the device it needs to communicate with. If another device is broadcasting at the same time, a collision takes place. When that collision is detected, the transmitting devices back off a random time interval, listens and transmits again. So it’s very much like a group of individuals talking and when two individuals start to speak at the same time both stop, back off and listen before trying again. Wave Relay also uses multicast messaging so all devices on a network hear the message; that message can be voice, data or video. Unlike conventional radios that allocate channels or time slots to voice, video or data, wave relay allocates all of the available bandwidth to the active devices. Persistent Systems designs and manufacturers scalable, peer-to-peer wireless networks which provide data, video, and voice even in the most challenging applications. Their communications products provide user throughput of 41 Mbps UDP and 31.1 Mbps TCP. Wave Relay® technology provides a dynamic, reliable, and secure wireless networking solution beyond mesh.
The Wave Relay 5100 radio has a number of features that impressed me. This is a man portable radio that operates in the L, S or C r.f. bands. It uses 3 antennas to eliminate dead spots; as a result, the Wave Relay 5100 can be reliably used in caves, buildings or other environments that would normally be difficult for a VHF or UHF transceiver. This radio runs Android; as such, it will run any Android application, for example COP or other situational awareness applications written for the Android OS. Changing frequencies does not require software reconfiguration, the operator simply swaps out the interchangeable module. Since the radio runs Android, there is no need for a smart device, so a georeferenced map can be downloaded directly to the 5100 then using one of 4 ports, a small touchscreen monitor can be attached for operator interaction.
The 5100 architecture lends itself extremely well to the UAV platform for example…
I’ve only scratched the surface of Wave Relay’s potential in this post but I encourage anyone interested in overcoming the bandwidth limitations and operational constraints of the more conventional software defined communications technologies to contact Persistent Systems LLC for additional technical information or demonstrations.
PERSISTENT SYSTEMS, LLC
303 FIFTH AVENUE SUITE 306
NEW YORK, NY 10016
PHONE: (212) 561-5895
FAX: (212) 202-3625