Director of Federal Solutions, Aaron Ezrilov (on right), supervising 29 Palms network installation with field technician
October 27, 2014
The Need for a Fixed Wireless Network
MCAGCC had a system installed that managed the energy in a number of buildings in the base. The buildings were connected by a fiber-based network to a central control application. But fiber was proving problematic. Some sites were not in the network, and in the rest, outages were common. Fiber cables were often broken inadvertently by heavy trucks and construction crews. And if one section of the network broke, the base's energy management team lost control of all devices connected in that loop.
The management team wanted to back up the fiber connections with wireless ones. Our charge was to link the energy-management devices with a fixed wireless network.
We had worked with the Marine Corps before, setting up fixed wireless communication networks for various applications at MCAGCC and other locations such as Kuwait, Miramar Air Station and Camps Pendleton and Lejeune. They had confidence in us.
But this project had several challenges, some of which were due to the base's location and climate.
Challenges of Installing a Fixed Wireless Network at MCAGCC
MCAGCC lies at the end of a power line. Electrical outages occur frequently. Temperatures in the high desert can be extreme – from 130° F in summer to 8° F in winter. Whatever devices we installed needed to work flawlessly in a wide range of temperatures. All our outdoor equipment, like antennas, had to be able to withstand the 80-mph haboobs that occasionally sweep through the area.
What's more, frequent construction projects on the base meant we could lose line-of-sight between buildings, a critical issue for signals in the 5 GHz range.
Despite these and other challenges, we implemented a fixed wireless solution that exceeded the MCAGCC energy management team's goals. From operational and cost perspectives, it far outperformed fiber. Read more about our solution and the benefits that MCAGCC is reaping in this case study.