July 7, 2009 - Tropos Networks, the market leading wireless IP broadband mesh network provider announced its routers are being used in the latest North American Eagle™ (NAE) trial runs in the desert at Black Rock, Nevada this week, where vehicle speeds exceed 500 miles per hour. A Tropos 4210 mobile mesh router on board the NAE vehicle during its high-speed test runs, provides a reliable communication link for real-time monitoring of data collection activities between the near-supersonic car and the mobile command and control center.
“When we conduct these field trials, we never know what challenging conditions we’ll run into which put the Tropos network to the test,” said Steve Wallace, data acquisition engineer for NAE. “Environmental conditions can include blinding dust storms; temperatures reaching 115 degrees Fahrenheit during the day; extremely high vibration; constantly changing signal strength; and volatile power conditions. The Tropos network has delivered the reliability that is critical for both data collection as well as for ensuring the safety of our driver.”
Monitoring data collection activities in real-time is critical as there is a tremendous amount of data being collected (approximately 0.9 billion samples every 5 minutes!) which must be synchronized and managed to ensure integrity. The Tropos network is used to ensure all computer systems are ready and synchronized prior to launch; to trigger data collection activities; to maintain the command/control of data collection during the test run; and then for transmission of the data from the on vehicle computer to the mobile command and control center. In addition, up to eight miles away, simultaneous data collected from the static Global Positioning System (GPS) reference station is also synchronized over the Tropos mesh network.
The data collected during trial runs is also essential for validating the stability of the vehicle design as it transitions through supersonic speed, which is the charter for the North America Eagle Land Speed Program. The Program’s vision is that eventually the technologies and processes under test can be adapted for use in a wide range of applications such as high-speed rail; reducing the ground effects of high-speed aircraft during landing and deceleration; mitigation of shock waves as aircraft break the sound barrier; and various other military and space exploration applications.
“We are pleased to be working with NAE as they work towards achieving their vehicle land speed goals which will have broad reaching benefits,” said Mike Bailey, vice president of engineering and operations for Tropos Networks. “In addition, these field tests are further validation of the performance and reliability of Tropos’ mesh routers under extreme conditions. Our customers currently using Tropos mobile routers for public safety, public works, and other municipal applications are not likely to require operation at 500 miles per hour, but this is further verification of the capability of these industry-leading products.”
About North American Eagle Program
The goal of the North American Eagle Program is to break the existing land-based speed record of 763 miles per hour by reaching 800 miles per hour. NAE has conducted over 25 test runs; its speed record recorded in June 2008 was approximately 400 miles per hour. There are a range of technologies, processes, and materials that are incorporated into the NAE vehicle including magnetic breaks, jet fighter parachutes. For more information, please visit www.landspeed.com.