Inadequate Planning Can Lead to Interference-Prone Networks
Compared to wired communication solutions, wireless is subject to much higher levels of interference from other devices and radio networks in the vicinity. Interference free operation thus calls for adequate planning that enables so-called coexistence between the various wireless systems in use.
Coexistence describes the interference-free, parallel operation of multiple adjacent wireless networks. Fraunhofer ESK researchers rely on their extensive knowledge in the field of wireless communication technology to advise companies on the installation and utilization of wireless transmission systems, even for critical enterprise applications. This includes up-front support when selecting suitable technologies and systems.
The Devil Is in the Details
Because the radio spectrum is a shared communication medium, system design and local conditions can rapidly change during operation. It is not uncommon for a wireless connection to suddenly experience an outage despite running reliably for an extended period of time. Sporadic outages can be caused by a microwave that uses frequencies in the Bluetooth or WLAN range and which is located in the vicinity of a production system, just to name one example. Mobile phones that have WLAN or Bluetooth activated can also create interference and lead to wireless network outages. Apart from these two examples, there are numerous other causes of temporary or permanent wireless network outages, which at first glance do not seem logical.
Helping to Make Networks Interference-Free
Fraunhofer ESK has been actively carrying out research in the field of robust wireless transmissions for more than four years. The institute utilizes this expertise to help customers troubleshoot the causes of wireless network disruptions. This work involves on-site analyses that include measurements to detect possible sources of interference or to identify overlapping frequency ranges. Fraunhofer ESK furthermore offers Awair, a software-based solution for carrying out long-term analyses that can uncover sources of sporadic interference.