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Ceragon - High Capacity Wireless Backhaul Solutions
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South America's Largest Container Terminal Blankets Shipyard with Wi-Fi to Manage Freight, Equipment and Personnel

7/28/09 - Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN) announced that Santos-Brasil S.A. has deployed a ruggedized outdoor Aruba Wi-Fi network across its 596,000 square meter Tecon de Santos container terminal at the Port of Santos. Sao Paulo-based Santos-Brasil operates 3 berths, 16 ship-to-shore container cranes, 1 mobile harbor crane, 34 rubber-tired gantry cranes, and 23 reach stackers at the port. Reliable performance is a business-critical function since container handling is wholly dependent on data transferred over the Wi-Fi network to more than 500 Psion Teklogix ruggedized handheld and vehicular computers.

Aruba was selected to replace the legacy Proxim network based on the capabilities and features of its AP-85 Outdoor Access Point and Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) technology. The network was deployed by authorized Aruba partner Synergy Tecnologia.

"Our legacy network consisted of stand-alone access points, all running one common SSID, and equipped with high-gain directional antennas," said Ricardo Abbruzzini Filho, Santo-Brasil's IT Manager. "The lack of coordination among access points, coupled with coverage gaps resulting from the directional antennas, resulted in low network availability, high levels of network congestion, and limited roaming capability. While state-of-the-art at the time of installation, the Proxim system had run its course."

Synergy Tecnologia conducted several site surveys using an Ekahau site survey tool to demonstrate the source of the connectivity problems. Following Aruba's best practice guide, a remedy was proposed using Aruba ruggedized AP-85 Outdoor Access Points equipped with Aruba ANT-90 outdoor dual-band, down-tilt omni-directional diversity antennas. "The technical documentation, network simulations, and reference customers provided by Synergy Tecnologia were sufficient for Aruba to be selected without a pilot deployment," continued Filho.

The access points and antennas were mounted on 40 meter poles throughout the cargo terminal. Two Aruba 3200 Mobility Controllers manage the system. To enhance network security, the controllers were loaded with Aruba's policy enforcement firewall and wireless intrusion detection system.

The AP-85 features dual, high-power radios that deliver up to 200mW (23dBm) for wide area coverage. The weatherproof enclosure and ATEX Zone 2 safety rating enable the access points to operate in demanding environments and across temperatures from -30 to +55 degrees Centigrade without extra-cost housings. High-intensity data, signal, and power LEDs mounted behind a front panel window are readily visible from a distance, providing a simple means of verifying RF signal and link alignment and checking status.

Users have a choice of single/multimode fiber optic, Ethernet, or wireless mesh data interfaces. Fiber optic data interfaces are ideal in challenging EMI/ESD environments, whereas Ethernet provides a simple solution for retrofit applications. Aruba's secure, resilient, self-healing mesh is an excellent solution for areas without existing cabling and for difficult-to-reach areas. Mesh allows data, voice, or video signals to hop wirelessly from access point to access point -- networks can be set-up quickly and inexpensively in even the harshest environments, without costly site modifications.

Power options include standard 802.3af Power-over-Ethernet and 12VDC, or in the case of fiber models, auto-ranging 90-288VAC. 12VDC low voltage power can be drawn from either plant bus power sources used for industrial sensors and actuators, vehicular power cells, or solar-charged batteries.

The AP-85 access points support Aruba's Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) technology. ARM addresses challenging outdoor RF environments through the use of infrastructure-based controls that optimize the performance of Wi-Fi clients in real-time. By controlling how Wi-Fi clients interact, ARM helps ensure that data, voice, and video applications have sufficient network resources, including airtime, to operate properly.

"Aruba's outdoor solutions offer best-in-class wireless coverage for trouble-free roaming, and client-to-core encryption to protect the integrity of data, voice, and video transmissions," said Fernando Lobo, Head of Aruba South America. "Our 3D antenna modeling and coverage tools take the guess work out of selecting and situating antennas. Whether you need to cover a massive food storage warehouse, blanket a container port, or need FIPS 140-2 secure coverage of an airfield, Aruba offers a wide array of access points, antennas, and tools to make the project successful."

By Robert Hoskins

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