Aircraft MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) required timely scheduling and high quality of work. There were millions of parts in today’s aircraft. Each part had very detailed specification on manufacturing, assembly, maintenance and replacement. Being able to access this large volume of data and retrieve the relevant data through the Internet to the right person in time for action was critical for timely aircraft maintenance and development, which led to better flight safety and substantial cost reduction.
Unfortunately, due to the vast and irregular aviation area (including airport, aircraft, airlines and manufacturer's areas), full Internet coverage was still very difficult. As a result, aircraft maintenance and development crews still often relied heavily on ineffective means such as carrying and passing instruction manuals and communicating via walkie-talkies.
We were proposed to design and implement an intelligent wireless mesh network that worked seamlessly with existing wireless infrastructures to cost-effectively and fully covered all aviation areas. It enabled easy onsite access to online APA data warehouses. It made communication between design, maintenance, and repair engineers much more efficient. It dramatically cut down the amount of paperwork needed for instruction manuals and maintenance procedures.
Without changing any of the current settings, Lavinet are able to extend Wi-Fi coverage in several different locations and also provided stronger signals with its intelligent channel assignment algorithm.
One of these locations was the dock office in Hangar 2. The dock office area originally had very weak Wi-Fi signals because it was far away from all Access Points (AP). We placed a Lavinet node on top of the dock office, and it extended Wi-Fi coverage inside and outside the dock. The Wi-Fi signal was improved (doubled) with Lavinet in an aircraft parked near the dock office.
We also connected the switch inside the dock office to the Lavinet node so that all the wired desktop computers inside the dock office can use Lavinet to go online. Using Lavinet provided much better Internet speed.
HAECO applications will run much faster and smoother under the new infrastructure, so that HAECO engineers can actually start using their wireless devices and go for e-enabled solutions on the field without the hassles they have before.
MTL used to rely on conventional Wi-Fi to process data. However the connection could easily be broken because of the vast area and many moving metallic cranes in container terminals which create dynamic Wi-Fi blind spots and heavy radio interference. Offering pervasive Wi-Fi service is very challenging. Complaints related to Wi-Fi connection is an invariant issue to MTL.
MTL has been interested in uninterrupted wireless coverage for real-time logistic management. However there are not enough suitable places in MTL to install stationary APs with line of sight coverage. Lavinet routers have been installed on the moving crane to provide a dynamic mobile mesh. The fast hand-off feature of Lavinet enables the wide area WiFi for the vast yard of MTL.
Fiber deployment in the area is both disruptive and expensive. The multi-hop feature extends the WiFi coverage to every corners of MTL which provides a timely and effective solution helping MTL to strengthen its wireless connectivity while halving the cost as Lavinet is an embedded software installed in existing routers. No extra facilities are required.
Trials have shown that our technology achieves substantially better performance, user satisfaction and cost-efficiency over other existing products. It is an exemplary demonstration of the transfer of world-class research results to practical industrial deployment.
MTL would like to continue the collaboration to develop advanced and proven wireless solutions to enhance their network and increase Hong Kong's competitiveness in the container terminal business.