The Power Self-sufficient
Wireless Relay Station
Figure 1: A self-sufficient wireless relay station
Wireless relay station is a critical piece of equipment in the entire long-range wireless system for rural community as it acts as an interchange for wireless signaling from one end to another, in our case here, it is from one village to another village. Once the signal paths have been planned, the placement of the wireless relay station may be at any of the strategic high ground to satisfy a good line-of-sight requirement for the wireless communication. The location of installation most of the time will be in the middle of the jungle, on top of a hill where there is no power supply infrastructure available. The challenge will be to design a comprehensive standalone wireless system that comes with its own power supply so that the system can operate 24 hours and 7 days a week with minimal service interruption. Owing to that, the power self-sufficient wireless relay station has been designed and developed to fill this technology gap of long-range wireless system deployment in the remote rural. The new relay station has been our greatest breakthrough and a critical milestone in deploying technology in the remote rural environment.
Our design of self-sufficient wireless relay station has been improved from various pilot deployments where various challenges from the environment were taken into account to make the standalone station more robust and suitable for rural adoption. Challenges are not limited to technology but also to deal with a number of non-technical issues that are beyond our imagination in the lab. Owing to it is extremely difficult to have on-site support and maintenance for the deployed systems, part of the designs are aiming to introduce intelligence in self-recovery and self-maintenance in order to minimize human intervention in the overall maintenance. The need to provision stable signaling across the very challenging rural terrains is also one of the major driving force to our research.
Figure 2: Two of the deployed Power Self-sufficient Relay stations