Meshdynamics
Wireless For The Outdoor EnterpriseTM    
      Ballon Based Video Surveillance (military)Hastily Formed Networks, Sporting Eventsmilitary defense and public safey with mesh networks, IraqQuad Root Downlink for Temporay and Tactical Networks, Emergency Responsemesh node on solar panel trailer, Australia Mine
Meshdynamics Mesh Networks Scale

Meshdynamics Modular Mesh  family of mesh routers scale. We deliver glitch free, time sensitive, video, voice and sensor streams -- long after competing mesh architectures have run out of steam.

Defense and Homeland Security in US, UK and Canada use Meshdynamics to provide mobile and static video surveillance and perimeter security. These include strategic national borders.

Thousands of nodes are active in surface and underground coal mining sites in Africa, Australia, China, Canada and USA. We provide crucial communications in mining tunnels 64+ hops deep.

This level of scalable performance -- validated by Government Agencies -- remains unmatched.  
 

What makes Meshdynamics So Different ?

 
Inside the box wireless mesh network products use similar -- often identical -- radio hardware. .

Our OEM Extensible, Scalable, Radio Protocol Agnostic, Software set us apart.  Elevator Pitch




      Video Surveillance Mesh NetworksNetworking Construction and Escavating Machinery, Australia MineMine safety and mine communications with Mesh NetworksMeshDynamics Mesh Node in Border Security Patrol CarSingle Radio Edge/Mesh  Node (click for more)

 Scalable, Future-Proof, Wireless Mesh Networking Architectures

Introduction

Mesh network requirements have evolved from their military origins as requirements have moved from the battlefield to the service provider, and enterprise networking environments. Growing demands for Time Sensitive, Video, Voice and M2M streams require packets to be moved over the mesh at high speeds and with low latency and low jitter. To complicate matters, the Outdoor Enterprises (Military, Mining, Oil and Gas, Agriculture) require costly Cellular or Satellite connectivity links to be efficiently -- and securely -- distributed over larger areas for mobile machinery ("things"), operating at the "edge".

These challenges in Scalability, Synchronicity and Security are especially relevant to the Industrial Internet.

1. Tree Based Multi-Radio Mesh Architectures Scale.
 

             Fig. 1: First, Second and Ad hoc (Peer-to-Peer) Mesh Architectures vs. Meshdynamics Tree Based Approach.

Three evolutions of mesh architectures are shown above. Note: First and Second, both use a single radio as backhaul:

First Generation: 1-Radio Ad Hoc Mesh (left). This network uses one radio channel both to service clients and backhaul. This architecture provides the worst of all the options, as expected, since both backhaul and service compete for bandwidth.

Second Generation: Dual-Radio with Single Radio Ad-Hoc meshed backhaul (center). A single radio ad hoc mesh is still servicing the backhaul, packets traveling toward the Internet share bandwidth at each hop along the backhaul path with other interfering mesh backhaul nodes - all-operating on the same channel. "Peer-to-Peer" don't scale. More
 
Third Generation: 3-Radio Meshdynamics Mesh (right). Provides separate backhaul and service functionality and dynamically manages channels of all uplink and downlink radios so that backhauls (and "hops") are on non-interfering channels. More

2. Conventional Single Channel Backhauls Cannot Scale
 
              Fig.2: (left) Competing mesh products suffer from   Bandwidth loss with each hop. Click to Enlarge.
              Fig 3: (right): Meshdynamics MeshControlTM Software engenders Frequency Agility. Click to Enlarge
 

With one backhaul radio available for relaying packets, all nodes communicate with each other on one radio channel. For data to be relayed from mesh node to mesh node, that node must repeat it in a store-and-forward manner. A node first receives the data and then retransmits it. These 2 operations cannot occur simultaneously because, with only a single radio channel, simultaneous transmission and reception would interfere with each other.

This inability - to simultaneously transmit and receive - is a serious disadvantage. If a node cannot send and receive at the same time, it loses of its bandwidth as it attempts to relay packets up and down the backhaul path. A loss of with each hop implies that after 4 hops, a user would be left with (***) = 1/16 of the bandwidth available at the Ethernet link: 1/(2H) relationship defines the fraction of the bandwidth available to a user after H hops, see Figure 2. More

3. Managing RF Interference and Jamming Proactively

Switching to another channel contains local interference at one "dirty" section of the network. With one radio backhauls, this is not possible: the entire network is on the same channel and switching to another channel is simply not practical. (Fig 3)

The performance of single channel backhauls is thus heavily compromised in RF polluted environments or under malicious attacks. Military field trials with our dual channel backhaul demonstrated frequency agility, ensuring that the network is active - even with malicious RF interference. Our blue backhaul radios (Fig. 3) simply switched to non-interfering channels. More

4. Tree Based Wireless Mesh Architectures are Inherently Future-Proof

Enterprise class network switches use an efficient tree structure for routing. The switch stack tree like structure uses simpler routing mechanisms - trees have no loops and complications of looping are thus eliminated. More

As wired network trees scales up, the wired networks scale accordingly - more switches are added to continue to segment and manage (divide and conquer) the expanding collision domains. For broadcasting trees with height H of O(logn), routing overhead in tree based routing protocols is O(nlogn). It "keeps up" with Moore's Law. Tree based networks are future-proof.  

Similarly, as Meshdynamics wireless equivalent network, scales up, the dynamic channel management algorithms, running in each mesh node, change the RF radio channels, to segment and manage the shared RF mediums, also as O(nlogn).

Single radio Peer-to-peer networks have routing protocol overhead O(n2). Update times grow exponentially as n increases. When clients or mesh nodes are moving, routing tables are not in sync: higher latency and jitter in time sensitive traffic.  More

Our nodes connect as branches of a tree. Tree based routing is scalable, efficient, and deterministic.
 
5. Abstraction Layer Supports Legacy and Emerging Wireless Radio Protocols
 
Click for Configuration Options
Meshdynamics dual channel implementation is not limited to any particular number or type of physical radios, or indeed to the concept of separate physical radios at all. Instead, the Meshdynamics mesh networking algorithms treat multiple physical radios as a pool of available connections. We  work closely with our licensees to support a diverse list of radios: 802.11abg 802.11ac, 802.11ah, Bluetooth, 802.15.4 
 

Future Proofing: Decoupling the logical channel-selection and topology-definition processes from the specific physical radio in this fashion delivers distributed dynamic radio intelligence benefits for current as well as emerging radio standards. More

For our OEM software licensees. this substantially decreases time to market and better manufacturing scale, reducing both development- and unit cost over custom development, while still supporting newer protocols,
 Sharp QCX-300 Example

6. Modular Multi-Radio Design Securely connects Edge Devices


 
 Fig 4:  Configurable Board supports up to 4 radios        Fig 5: Interoperability between 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz sub trees


Our products take Channel Agility one step further. The "RF robot" control software runs at a radio-abstracted layer: the same mesh control supports radios operating on diverse wireless communication protocols.

Fig. 4 shows how this level of flexibility is leveraged in the MD4000 Modular Mesh Products. There are 4 mini-PCI slots on the board, two on the bottom and two on top. Each of the four slots can house a different frequency radio. This opens up some interesting possibilities including 2.4 GHz backhaul sub tree being part of a mesh tree  with 5.8 GHz backhauls.

Since the service and backhaul radios are distinct, service radios may bridge over from a 5.8 GHz backhaul to 2.4 GHz backhaul forming a new 2.4 GHz branch of the tree, Fig. 5. The 4325 Mobility Relay node on the bottom left has joined the mesh even though the upper links are 5.8 GHz (blue) through the service radio (pink).  More

In Infrastructure mode, device to device M2M messaging " goes up the tree". When (not if) IOT devices are compromised, the uplink radios of the corrupted branches are temporarily "cut off". This is not possible in single radio, peer-to-peer networks.

7. Embedded Machine Controllers For Local Control Loops


Fig. 6:  Machine controller applications, in mesh nodes, orchestrating local and remote (supervisory) control loops.  Enlarge

Machine controller applications, running on the mesh nodes, monitor and control enterprise assets at the network edge. M2M messaging is latency and jitter aware. A low latency Pub/Sub messaging framework manages periodic packet shuttle services. Performance is analyzed in the cloud. We assume intermittent, unreliable, cloud connectivity. More

Our radio and protocol abstraction layers enable "apps" to manage a plethora of both IP and Non IP ("Chirp")  devices. More

A device and communication protocol abstracted framework emerges, capable of  tight integration with "machine controller" applications - on the mesh nodes - to orchestrate sensor-actuator interactions and feedback command and control loops.

Summary


New mesh requirements e.g. more hops to cover larger areas, efficient bandwidth distribution, low latency and jitter for Video, Voice and M2M communications, have given rise to new mesh architectures. Meshdynamics patented multi-radio backhaul architectures delivers consistent throughput and more-deterministic performance needed to meet these new requirements.

Our device and protocol abstractions support distributed dynamic radio intelligence, frequency agility, automated channel selection, dynamic topology configuration, and seamless extensions for the network "edge".. These capabilities provide single framework solutions for larger scale and diverse application environments at the edge: e.g. Industrial Internet of Things.

Please visit our Support Page for User Guides, Papers, Patents and Field tested Performance Validations.