A reliable Wi-Fi network for remote environments
What’s a balloon got to do with wi-fi?
We’re still some years away from the benefits of low earth orbit satellite connectivity that’s available to everyone. In the meantime, we still need reliable wi-fi, even in places where it seems impossible.
In remote areas, there are lots of challenges to creating connectivity, namely power and data feeds. Any bandwidth you get might be limited and you need to share it as widely as you can.
Enel Green Power asked us at V-App to find a way to create stable and distributed connectivity in a difficult and changing environment. They wanted us to deliver a reliable wireless network into the campsite where people were staying while they were building a power plant.
We started off by designing a bespoke wireless solution using Cisco Meraki’s plug-and-play, built-in security and pre-configuration features. That left us with one big problem – how to distribute the wi-fi signal across the whole campsite.
The solution – we put the Cisco Fluid Mesh devices in an aerostat balloon!
The balloon soon became a familiar sight across the campsite, sitting several meters above the ground. Its elevated position made it easier for us to achieve a steady and multi-directional signal transmission to the mobile ground receivers that were acting as wi-fi spots.
We were confident that our innovative solution offered Enel Green Power the wi-fi they needed but we needed to capture some data to be sure.
Delivering reliable wireless connectivity from an aerostat balloon.
Did the balloon solution do the trick?
We started capturing real-time data using our Wise-Fi apps. Providing a good quality solution is important to us as V-App, so we were keen to measure the quality of the signal as well as the strength.
Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) data enabled us to assess this, and we took latency measures using live heatmap data.
The Wi-Fi Latency Map quickly showed how effectively Enel Green Power’s connected devices were performing.
We also used our Wi-Fi Coverage Survey and Wi-Fi Health apps to see real-time visuals through cloud-based dashboards. This made it quick and easy to identify problem areas and adjust signal levels as conditions changed, such as on windier days.
Enel Green Power were delighted with the results. The solution delivered consistent connectivity across the site, and in the process, we’ve seen how effective our Wise-Fi apps are in remote environments.
It turns out that the combination of Meraki devices and the real-time analytics of V-App’s Wise-Fi is a powerful one that’s allowed us to build an outstanding, if slightly unusual, wi-fi solution.