Colorado Springs, Colorado-based start-up Zeewaves Systems, already busy working with Nvidia on planar-antenna WiFi designs, has a new and intriguing offering: A mobile WiFi architecture which may combine vehicular hotspots with such functions as GPS, automatic vehicle location, and ZigBee sensor gateways. Zeewaves calls the commercial version of the system ConnectStar and also offers an extended architecture version with the clunky name of On-board Communication, Automated Tracking and Surveillance Systems (OCATSS) for government security applications.
The company says that the original architecture was based on a CPS aiming to link fixed WiMax broadband backbones to local WiFi services. The company's engineers became a bit impatient with the pace of WiMax development, so they used the same integrated antenna and gateway architecture to design a vehicle-based system which would establish WiFi hotspots over 3G or CDMA cellular backbones. The system was tested while driving at highway speeds around Colorado Springs, with broadband connectivity maintained even as testers encountered occasional delays as network requests were handed off.
Zeewave collaborated with people from security startup General Surveillance to enhance the security-related applications of the system by bringing bomb-sensor and video-surveillance networks into the ConnectStar topology. Last month the first generation of an OCATSS architecture demonstrated integration of WiFi, AVL, and GPS with 911 services, remote video surveillance, and fire- and bomb-sniffing sensors. If OCATSS is augmented with WiMax and ports and cargo container sensors, the system could play an important role in ports and transportation hubs.