In general, wireless mesh networks are composed of cooperating radio nodes that are organized in a mesh topology. The link communication technology from one hop to another can be standardized (e.g., IEEE 802.11 series [WiFi] or IEEE 802.15.4 [LoWPAN, Low-rate Wireless Personal Area Network]) or proprietary (e.g., FHSS, OFDM technologies). The mesh protocols and corresponding forwarding algorithms are on the other hand still predominantly proprietary. Standardization efforts in this area (e.g., 6LoWPAN protocol suite / Zigbee-NAN) are currently still ongoing. Thanks to their mesh properties along with self-setup and self-healing mechanisms, mesh networks inherently offer ease of operation and redundancy for fixed applications. The system performance can be characterized by the hops’ throughput capacity, the average reach of a hop-to-hop link, and the max. number of hops on a single path. Detailed requirements as well as specific regional conditions must be carefully assessed in order to select the best-suited technology.
Broadband wireless mesh systems have sufficient transport capacity to backhaul a high amount of data, that is to say aggregated data of various RMUs / DER plants, with multiple RTU devices or data concentrators / access gateways.
The term “RF mesh system” is used to denominate narrowband wireless mesh technologies. Their capacity suffices to connect individual devices with moderate data transmission requirements, such as meters, grid sensors, measuring transformers, etc. The single RF mesh nodes communicate Enterprise-WiMAX / LTE solution for distribution networks Wireless mesh network via each other towards an access gateway, which serves as take-out point into other WAN / backhaul communication networks.
Thanks to their mesh properties along with self-setup and self-healing mechanisms, mesh networks inherently offer ease of operation and redundancy for fixed applications.
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