Microwave in the Harshest Environments on the Planet

With the East Coast of the USA gripped by a so-called “cyclone bomb”, and one of the coldest holiday seasons on record, a significant challenge for communications network operators is resilience of those networks and getting access to sites during these conditions. Sub-zero temperatures can cause failures of any equipment located outdoors, on a tower for example, while access to sites in the event of failures, or even climbing a tower, can be virtually impossible for days on end. Many networks rely on remote, or mountain-top relay and hub sites. Downtime even for short periods, let alone for days until a storm subsides, is not an option.

At Aviat, we understand this, and that is why we subject our equipment to rigorous testing to simulate deployments in the toughest environments. This could be anything from the deserts of Nevada or Kuwait, where temperatures can exceed 140F/60C, highly corrosive offshore deployments on oil and gas platforms of the North Sea, or the frigid regions found in Northern US/Canada or Siberia, where temperatures plunge to -30F/-40C, and towers can be coated in thick sheet ice. We subject all our equipment designs to tortuous highly accelerated lifetime testing (HALT), extended temperature testing well beyond the standard industry requirements, as well as salt/spray, vibration and shock, water jets and sand/dust tests to simulate everything that nature can throw at it. The result is that our systems are able to remain in operation during sand or snow storms, hurricanes or cyclones, floods and earthquakes, bitter winters or searing summers, anywhere on the planet.

Here in the USA, many of our customer opt for all-indoor microwave systems, so that there are no electronics outside at all. The main benefit from this is that if there is a failure, there is no tower climb required, as all repairs can be done inside a temperature-controlled shelter or equipment room. But what if you can’t even get to the site? In these instances, the network needs to be resilient and self-healing. Aviat’s radio systems have amongst the highest Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) performance in the Industry, but also provide full redundancy at every level (radio, modem, switch, power supply and line interface), with automatic and rapid switch-over in the event of any failure within a matter of a few thousandths of a second, without any degradation to signal or traffic quality.

Mission Critical Microwave at its best, from Aviat Networks.

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