Application Areas

Application Images

 

 

A look at some of the vertical market applications our products are featured in...

  • Environment

  • Security & Medical

  • Utility

  • Industrial

  • Transport

  • Domestic

  • Sport & Leisure

  • Media & Commerce

  • Education & Research

  • Defence

 

Environment

A word used in many ways: from the broadest concern, awareness and government legislation over “the environment”, to the desire to control the environment of a room in a building, Low Power RF communications are commonly used. Wireless sensors can be used to monitor environmental factors such as river levels and atmospheric pollution – the RF link could be to a data logger, perhaps at a water utility company water treatment works. Other example applications include agriculture (e.g. irrigation control) and indoor environments can use RF communications to provide the feedback and control paths for air conditioning, central heating systems (HVAC) or refrigeration management in supermarkets. Local authorities may use RF remote control in selective lighting to improve security in an urban environment.

 

Security & Medical

Examples of RF modules in security products include burglar alarms, fire alarms, personal attack e.g. lone worker alarm system) and elderly/infirm alarm systems (e.g. nurse call). Alarm systems can be found in many places; buildings, cars and boats. Control applications include door entry systems (buildings, car parks, vehicles etc). Secure control systems may also require encryption. RF modules are also used in covert activities and can be used by police and other law enforcement / intelligence agencies to monitor criminal activity. CCTV systems can use RF modules for control of the camera.

 

Utility

Utilities (water, electricity, gas) often use products that incorporate RF modules to perform site monitoring and control: the site may be viewed as an industrial process containing many smaller processes that require monitoring and control. Some processes can be expensive or impractical to connect via cable (e.g. rotating parts that require slip-rings to connect signals) so wireless solutions incorporating our modules are popular. Unattended remote control of utility equipment via RF is another application, e.g. automatic re-configuration of electricity distribution during thunderstorms. Recently, alternative energy sourcing has led to wind farm power generation and RF monitoring and control of each wind turbine may be used. Utility companies may also use AMR at the point of delivery and this is another application that our RF modules can be incorporated into.

For Automatic Meter Reading applications, please see the ENT1 Transmitter and ENR1 Receiver.

 

Industrial

Industrial processes are monitored and controlled. Classic examples include steel making, oil refining, chemical processing, mining and car manufacturing. Often the process may be spread over a large area and will contain many smaller processes within. Additionally, other site parameters not directly a part of the process (e.g. energy usage) may be monitored. When the laying of cables is not feasible or too costly then a wireless solution of telemetry and telecommand can be implemented. The amount of data required is often small (e.g. a series of “on/off’s”) and this can be fully exploited by low data rate, high performance narrow-band RF modules which may be incorporated directly into an RTU product and used to communicate data within a SCADA system. Robots may incorporate RF modules for control and communication. Strain gauge data in a hazardous situation may be communicated easily; construction industries can benefit from using RF communications in heavy lifting control (e.g. tipper truck) and in crane safety systems. The list of possible applications for our modules in industrial data and construction control products is endless!

 

Transport

In the movement of people and goods by vehicles of land, air and water, RF modules find applications in cars, buses, rail systems, heavy goods vehicles, ships and aircraft in all sorts of ways. Not only the transport itself, but also in the activities that provide infrastructure for transport. Examples include:

  • Car security systems (using encryption)
  • Road signs
  • Public transport information signs
  • Traffic monitoring and management inc. signalling, warning and emergency
  • Railway signalling
  • Fleet management and logistics
  • Load monitoring of freight
  • Marina / harbour gate control and warning systems
  • Port operations – cranes
  • Canal lock monitoring
  • Boat security
  • Airfield Runway lighting

 

Domestic

Home, garden and garage often contain devices that make use of RF communications for convenience or security. Home automation using RF is quite common, even un-noticed, for example as a wireless room thermostat (wireless sensor) in domestic central heating, or as a wireless bell-push for the doorbell. Garage door opening can be conveniently controlled by an encrypted RF control signal. In the garden, sprinkler irrigation systems and greenhouse ventilation / frost-guard may also use products containing an RF module.

 

Sport & Leisure

Toys and recreational activities contain many possibilities for the use of RF modules. Obvious examples include remote control of toy cars, aeroplanes, helicopters etc. Many sporting activities involve incorporate RF communications in diverse applications such as telemetry for racing cars, remote control golf trolleys and controlling clay pigeon target release mechanisms. Gaming companies can benefit from wireless devices to control and monitor machines, including use of RF communications to report tampering. Large multi-player games can use RF to track and/or communicate with participants, e.g. paintball, quad-biking, electronic bingo.

 

Media & Commerce

The medium of presenting information in modern times is largely by electronic, often wireless methods. Low power RF modules find applications in audience participation of TV shows – “everybody vote now”, electronic questionnaires, and in the ability to transfer short text messages and graphics data between remote points – remote keypad data and “still” camera images can be sent from awkward or hazardous areas using a modem for onward transmission. In the area of commerce, an example product containing an RF module would be a wireless barcode scanner, useful in EPOS or asset tracking applications. Shops may use electronic display signs containing RF modules for rapid or targeted updates (e.g. special offers).

 

Education & Research

Low power RF modules are ideal for practical demonstration and for use in student projects where practical examples of wireless data transfer methods are required. Fundamental modulation, encoding and antenna theory can all be easily demonstrated. Evaluation kits are available to demonstrate and test the abilities and features of our radio modules, giving the student engineer practical experience of digital communications using RF. Research examples include telemetry from high altitude balloons, rocketry and in general where remote control and monitoring is required.

 

Defence

A huge number of potential applications; RF modules may be incorporated into detonators, used in covert communications, military airfield lighting control, mine clearance, target practice, and tracking, amongst many more examples.