Smart Grid

January 17, 2013

Parker Water and Sanitation District Taps into Wireless Data Transmission

It probably takes less time to drive across Parker–—a 14-square-mile commuter town at the southeastern corner of the Denver metropolitan area–—than it used to take for the Water and Sanitation District to communicate by radio. Although until recently, the town had a communications system in place, there was a 10-minute delay in data transmission and the radios it used were incompatible with each other.

On January 16, Boulder-based FreeWave Technologies, a manufacturer of high-performance spread spectrum and licensed radios for critical data transmission, announced that–—together with its technology solution partner Process Control Dynamics, Inc. of Centennial–—it had installed wireless data radios for Parker Water and Sanitation District’s communication network. The radios provide real-time monitoring and transmission of critical data at the town’s water and wastewater facilities, including tank levels, temperatures, pressures, and pump control.

“FreeWave’s radios were easily integrated into our existing supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) network and can communicate with all of our programmable logic controllers (PLCs),” said Kirk Magnusson, systems administration manager at Parker Water and Sanitation District. “The result is one cohesive system that sends critical data in real-time.”

Magnusson added, “With the configuration and diagnostics tools that FreeWave offers, we also can manage the radios from our desktop. With our old system, if a radio had a communication issue, someone from the team would have to drive out and locally fix it. The advantages of selecting FreeWave radios have resulted in exceptional reliability and performance, but we also have been especially impressed by FreeWave’s around-the-clock customer support.”

Parker Water and Sanitation District currently has several FreeWave radio models deployed in the field. FreeWave’s FGR Serial radios provide a wireless data communication solution for applications around the world——ranging from mission- critical situations to recreational.

The HTPlus radio is designed for industrial- grade, high-speed Ethernet communications, for which high throughput is required. It operates in harsh environments and noisy RF conditions. Delivering data at a rate of up to 867 Kilobits per second (Kbps), it is designed for SCADA backhaul networks.

The FGR2-IO, FreeWave’s 900 MHz input/output (I/O) radio, provides performance and versatility in wireless transmissions of process-control signals. It offers transparent acquisition, transport and reconstruction of analog, digital and power signals——eliminating the need for associated buried wiring.

Parker Water and Sanitation District also has employed FreeWave’s network configuration and diagnostic software, Tool Suite.

“At FreeWave, we work hard to ensure our wireless radios not only perform, but that we do everything possible to make sure our customers receive the top-notch service they deserve,” remarked Ashish Sharma (News - Alert), chief marketing officer at FreeWave Technologies. “Our low power consumption technology that provides extremely long range communication is a great fit for such remote automation applications.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman