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Unleash Big Bandwidth for Quad-Play Networks

The rapid rise in global population and the continued depletion of our natural resources have prompted industries around the world to develop solutions for a smarter way of life. In particular, businesses across the globe are leveraging the Internet of Things for a smarter future in the form of critical initiatives in smart manufacturing, smart transportation, and smart grid applications through the convergence of industrial automation networks and control systems.

In the past, building a single converged network for industrial automation (IA) was fairly straightforward since networks only transmitted small amounts of data and the throughput rates were relatively low. However, as more and more devices for multiple communication interfaces are now being deployed in industrial automation networks, demand for converged quad-play services (data, voice, video, and control) have also increased dramatically. As a result, network transmission has become more complex and requires bigger bandwidth to transmit different types of data, especially large amounts of video data.

Video Data

Video applications play a key role in the convergence of quad-play services. In particular, seamlessly streaming video requires much more bandwidth than transmitting data, voice, or control data. With video applications increasingly being adopted in IA networks, network backbones will require even more bandwidth than what is commonly supported today. For example, passenger information systems that provide real-time CCTV surveillance video need to support more video data formats and require bigger bandwidth than just graphs or voice information.

Moreover, video applications may also introduce additional security concerns into IA networks. Not only are IA networks responsible for device control, but they also need to ensure safety in various situations, especially for mission-critical applications. For example, ensuring safety in mining and tunnel systems require streaming real-time video to monitor onsite security, which cannot be done without large bandwidth.

Network convergence for quad-play services, especially video applications, requires large bandwidth to ensure smooth and speedy network communications. Here are some examples of bandwidth hungry applications you may already be dealing with.

Examples of Bandwidth Hungry Applications

IP Surveillance

High Definition Internet Protocol Surveillance consists of around 3.5 Mbps bandwidth output per channel per camera at 720 pixel resolution. Current trends in the video surveillance industry indicate an increasing number of analog CCTV systems migrating to HD IP surveillance networks. Analysts (IMS Research) also report that by 2015, more than 70% of all network cameras shipped will be capable of delivering megapixel resolutions.

In recognition of this shift in the security industry, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) recently released a handbook documenting the guidelines for best practices in design, selection, and deployment of video surveillance systems (VSS), as well as identifying the minimum requirements for infrastructure devices and components. The USDHS also recommended that HD surveillance be used whenever possible, stating that the HD format offers high color fidelity and is the only megapixel subset with resolution and frame rate standardization.

With more HD IP surveillance systems being deployed to ensure public safety, industrial automation networks will need to meet higher bandwidth requirements to provide seamless network transmissions. In order to support the growing popularity and availability of Full HD IP surveillance systems with up to 5 Mbps bandwidth output per channel per camera at 1080 pixel resolution, higher bandwidth requirements will need to be fulfilled in order to deliver Full HD or HD IP surveillance systems in the near future.

Emergency Response Systems

To ensure personnel safety, mission critical systems such as tunnel applications often incorporate emergency response systems to prevent and respond to any anomalies that occur. This is because all risks must be detected immediately so that they can be mitigated and addressed in a timely manner. The devices used in these response systems include IP cameras for real-time monitoring, incident alarm systems, variable message signs for road status notifications, and other equipment provided for emergency evacuations. These diverse communication devices not only generate large amounts of data, but also need seamless transmissions to provide real-time information for safety concerns. Consequently, high-bandwidth backbone networks are essential for these safety-critical applications.

Passenger Infotainment Systems

Passenger infotainment systems have continued to evolve to better fulfill the expectations of passengers. Whereas the passenger infotainment systems of yesterday may merely display the name of the next train stop, more modern systems now include additional information, such as distance and time to the destination, local weather information, and even relevant advertising.

This transformation leads to higher bandwidth requirements for transmitting track location data, PA system, LED displays, and train control data to give passengers both audio and visual updates about the current travel conditions.

Web access for passengers also requires more bandwidth due to multimedia web services that include voice and video. To ensure that hundreds of passengers can access the Internet smoothly, network design needs enough bandwidth to fulfill these high passenger expectations.

Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)

Many transportation authorities are constructing intelligent ETC gantries to make toll collection more efficient and to keep highway congestion to a minimum for commuters and travelers. ETC gantries make use of open road tolling (ORT) to allow travelers to pay tolls without stopping at toll booths. When a vehicle passes through the toll collection area, sensors installed atop the gantry detect the transponder or GPS device already installed on the vehicle, and then use the vehicle’s ID to debit the driver’s account. When a non-compliant vehicle enters the toll road, cameras mounted on the gantry send the license plate image of the offending vehicle to the control room for payment collection processing.

With multiple vehicles entering the toll road every second at high speeds, network latency is unacceptable. Large amounts of traffic data from sophisticated gantry devices, such as cameras, scanners, and sensors, will require high bandwidth transmission speeds across the ETC network backbone, especially for the transmission of high-resolution images from multiple cameras atop every gantry.

Conclusion

With growing demand for bandwidth-hungry systems in industrial applications, operators need to consider an integrated plan for network bandwidth to enable quad-play services on a single converged network. As a leading industrial Ethernet solution provider, Moxa has been helping customers around the world implement integrated high-bandwidth solutions to ensure network availability. To learn more about how two fast-growing sectors of industrial automation—HD IP surveillance and emergency response systems—are leveraging quad-play services through the deployment of future-proof high-bandwidth backbone networks, download Moxa’s new application guidebook today.

Learn more at: http://www.moxa.com/support/request_catalog_detail.aspx?id=1390.

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