B&B Electronics (Ottawa, IL) has launched its next generation AirborneM2M 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi platform to provide secure, dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz) WiFi connectivity to rugged and mission-critical M2M networks. With dual-band support and robust, enterprise-class security options, AirborneM2M is designed to enable integrators, VARs, and OEMs to reduce the risk of obsolescence as enterprises both upgrade their security policies, and increasingly migrate their WiFi infrastructure to the 5 GHz band. B&B’s AirborneM2M products feature industrial strength packaging and a wide temperature rating (-40 to 85 C) to withstand challenging M2M environments.   

The WiFi connectivity technology is useful for rugged, mission-critical applications that need both Ethernet connectivity and wireless mobility, such as transportation vehicles (forklifts in warehouse shipping/receiving), mobile printers (rental car companies),medical (hospital patient monitoring systems, nurses stations), and more.

The AirborneM2M WiFi technology is available in several forms:

  • A full line of industrial WiFi Access Points (APXN) and WiFi Clients (ABDN) including Ethernet bridges, Ethernet routers, and serial servers can seamlessly connect most any equipment - RS-232, 422, 485, Ethernet 10/100M, and even I/O - to the WiFi network. Power options include 5-36VDC and 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE).
  • Embeddable Access Point (APMN) and Client (WLNN) modules, which are plug compatible with B&B’s previous generation modules, allow OEMs to easily and cost effectively integrate Wi-Fi into their own M2M equipment without having to invest in the WiFi engineering and certification effort.  Leveraging B&B’s WLNN series modules with I/O flexibility enables rapid time to market with Ethernet, UART-based, or GPIO connectivity over Wi-Fi. B&B also offers a Design and Development Kit that provides a starting point for customers.

The 5 GHz support gives system designers and installers improved flexibility and reliability, as enterprises adopt 5 GHz in order to avoid the crowded 2.4GHz band, which hosts competing wireless transmissions.

Security protocols, including robust authentication and encryption, are also important to mission-critical wireless M2M applications.  AirborneM2M products are designed to handle the processor-intensive advanced encryption techniques defined for enterprise-class security that are not available on entry-level Wi-Fi products.   Features include:

  • Network security (EAP).
  • Wireless security (802.11i and WPA2-PSK).
  • Access security (authentication and firewalls).
  • Communication security (SSH).
  • Device security (encryption).   

B&B Electronics’ Airborne Management Center (AMC) device discovery, control, and management application software, included with all AirborneM2M devices, helps customers manage large networks.

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