BICSI 2016 Profiles: Greenlee AirScout Wi-Fi

Feb. 15, 2016
Greenlee Communication's AirScout Wi-Fi solution is profiled from the exhibition floor of the 2016 BICSI Winter Conference.

Greenlee Communications' AirScout Wi-Fi solution is here profiled from the exhibition floor of the 2016 BICSI Winter Conference. Key features of the solution, as described in a technical brief provided by the company, are as follows:

"The AirScout master controller (ASM300) is a dual-band MIMO wireless access point which when combined with three or more remote client units will evaluate the likely performance of the entire installation. The ASM300 should be placed approximately where the client gateway device will eventually be installed. However, note that one aspect of the AirScout system is that recommendations may later be made to re-locate this for optimum coverage throughout the premises. The remote AirScout client (ASC300) devices are also dual band MIMO and are also placed in approximately the same places real end-user devices would be used around the home.

AirScout is operated by an App running on a commonly available tablet computer. Once the App is started and communication is established to the AirScout master controller. An outline floor plan of the site is developed in the App, most commonly by dragging a standard shape “house plan” onto the working screen and the access point placed on this in its relative position. Absolute scale is not important. Each of the ASC300 clients is then placed onto the floor-plan in roughly the proportional positions they are in the real-world; at this point the technician can re-assign names to the client devices if necessary making test reports easier to understand for the client.

Greenlee breaks into WiFi at #BICSI; has launched this line of APs w integral site mapper app...very cool

— Cabling Tweets (@CablingTweets) February 24, 2015

The technician then simply presses the “start test” button in the app and is free to get on with more conventional installation tasks while AirScout continues testing autonomously. Typically with six client devices the whole test sequence takes approximately five minutes; compare that to having to stand still with a single hand-held device in each location for several minutes to carry out a manual survey. The wireless environment is first scanned in a listen only mode by all devices to seek the optimum channel before automatically configuring all the AirScout devices to this optimum channel.

All the devices then automatically re-activate on the new channel and special internal software routines will check the capability of the LAN under single use and combined traffic conditions emulating real-world use. The performance of each link is evaluated in light of the type of traffic expected. Therefore we can identify likely best and worst case performance in the wireless LAN and approximate a real-world quality of service. A multi-dimensional heat-map can then be presented that doesn't simply represent signal strength but expected actual performance on a client by client and traffic type basis, interference and even suggested access point location.

At this point the software will suggest the optimum channel to configure the customer’s gateway and may suggest that the access point be moved to a more favourable location. It may even be advantageous to install a wireless repeater to increase coverage to remote parts of the building or outside. This is an opportunity to up-sell additional gadgets to the end user."

View full specifications for Greenlee Communications' AIRSCOUT Automated Wi-Fi Readiness Solution

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