Monitoring traffic cameras from a single location in a busy urban environment requires fast, robust links that don’t lose bandwidth over a “daisy chain” of microwave links. LongHaul ST, the new lightning-fast Ethernet bridge from Carlson Wireless, offers this kind of performance-- “head and shoulders above” the competitors, according to an independent field test.

Jake Smith, a systems integrator at Cactus Computer in Central Texas, engineers and installs advanced traffic control systems for municipalities. For upcoming projects in five cities in the southern United States, Smith designed a complex, daisy-chain architecture, which communicates across point-to-point, microwave links of five or six repeaters off a fiber backbone.

After perfecting this design, he searched for radios that would work well in an urban environment and handle the throughput of video feed while minimizing bandwidth usage across the communication links.

When Kiely Cronin, sales engineer for Carlson Wireless, learned that Smith was looking for a better product than the ones he had tested at the time, Cronin put Smith in contact with the Carlson Wireless engineering team, headed by CEO Jim Carlson himself.

The Carlson Wireless engineering team went to work immediately to test LongHaul ST in the lab and soon reported back to Smith with the results, which he called “exciting.”

For the test, Smith demonstrated the radios in three cities in Texas, Fort Worth, Irving and Duncanville, and two in West Virginia, Huntington and Charleston. He tested the products by transmitting telemetry data and video. Representatives from each manufacturer were present at the demonstrations.

Among the tests was an experiment designed to determine how reflections and other interference would affect bandwidth. For the demonstration, Smith placed a unit on top of a parking garage and transmitted data to another unit located seven stories below, in an intersection surrounded by trees.

The multiple links are necessary in Smith’s application because of environmental obstacles, which range from tree-covered intersections where traffic cameras are located to tall buildings where the signal is received.

The performance of LongHaul ST exceeded Smith’s expectations, delivering data-transmission rates as much as three times higher than comparable equipment from competing manufacturers. Smith said he believes the performance and reliability of the LongHaul ST will enable him to connect as many as 12 links off the fiber backbone.

The competing products provided a maximum data-transmission rate of 22 Mbps under test conditions, while the LongHaul ST’s throughput ranged from 33 to 66 Mbps depending on the type of data that were sent (small file size with telemetry data, large with video).