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ABB announces Tropos Mesh OS 8 with reliable broadcast capability

New capability enhances support for automation protocols and applications including GOOSE, RNRP and mine management systems.

January 23, 2014 - ABB Tropos Wireless Communication Systems announces Tropos Mesh OS 8 with support for reliable Layer 2 broadcasts. The new capability enhances support for automation protocols and applications including IEC 61850 Generic Object Oriented Substation Events (GOOSE) messaging for smart grids, Redundant Network Routing Protocol (RNRP) for industrial automation and various mine management systems.

Wireless communication networks are especially useful in industrial automation environments that require coverage of large outdoor areas, mobility, frequent reconfiguration of process flow or retrofitting existing facilities. The patent-pending reliable broadcast capability of Tropos Mesh OS 8 enables Tropos wireless mesh networks to support a wider variety of automation protocols and applications.

“Many industrial facilities can benefit from using broadband wireless communication networks,” said Roman Arutyunov, Vice President of Product Development for ABB Tropos Wireless Communication Systems. “Wireless mesh networks offer dependable, cost-effective coverage of large outdoor areas, support for mobility, the flexibility to enable frequent process reconfiguration, and the ability to retrofit existing facilities without the need for trenching or installation of conduit or cable trays. The reliable broadcast capability of Tropos Mesh OS 8 will enable more industrial facilities to reap the benefits of broadband wireless mesh networks.”

Numerous utility and industrial automation protocols and applications rely on Layer 2 broadcast capabilities for their operation. Conventional wireless networks do not reliably deliver Layer 2 broadcast frames, creating an obvious impediment to deploying mission-critical applications that use broadcasts over wireless.

“Mission-critical applications require dependable connectivity,” explained Narasimha Chari, Chief Technology Officer for ABB Tropos Wireless Communication Systems, “Some of these applications and their underlying protocols, such as IEC 61850 GOOSE messaging, were originally designed for wired environments. They employ broadcast or multicast messages which are usually unacknowledged and not retransmitted in the case of errors. These protocols work well over wired networks but perform unreliably over wireless links that are prone to errors and losses due to effects such as fading, mobility and interference. This motivated ABB to develop reliable delivery capabilities for Tropos wireless mesh networks.”

Tropos Mesh OS is the foundation of the decentralized Tropos networks architecture. A common software platform that runs on each router across the network, Tropos Mesh OS leverages the router’s on-board intelligence to monitor and maximize performance and availability. Each Tropos mesh router includes the robust features of Tropos Mesh OS.

Tropos Mesh OS Release 8 will ship in March 2014. At that time, ABB Tropos customers with valid support subscriptions will be able to download Tropos Mesh OS Release 8 for no additional charge.

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