connectivity matters
Rajant Meshmapper September 29, 2020  |  Written by

Introducing Rajant’s BC|MeshMapper — Designed to Support Mobile and Autonomous Mesh Operations

You asked. We listened and have responded.

Introducing BC|MeshMapper, Rajant’s new network performance active survey utility that illustrates how the Kinetic Mesh® connection quality varies by geographic location within a mesh network.

This diagnostic tool generates connectivity heat maps to help end users analyze, diagnose, and optimize a Kinetic Mesh network’s performance. When changes happen in the topology of a network, running BC|MeshMapper immediately and after topology changes will give the network administrator excellent visibility into how well the current infrastructure placements cover the active area with the metrics most important to analyze the health of InstaMesh® links. BC|MeshMapper is now fully integrated in the latest version of Rajant’s network management tool, BC|Commander, which is provided free of charge with every Rajant BreadCrumb®.

How BC|MeshMapper Works
As a mobile BreadCrumb travels through a Kinetic Mesh infrastructure, data is obtained from the node with a GPS device and is combined with Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), the cost to each BreadCrumb peer, and the total cost for a live trace. BC|MeshMapper then uses this data to generate a connectivity “heat map” in the KMZ file and saves the file onto the BC|Commander host.

This KMZ file can be then opened in a KML viewer, such as Google Earth. In the KML viewer, the data can be viewed for the trace path, or one can click a data placemark to view specific information for that location. Both visualizations are colored according to customizable performance criteria.

Minimum requirements to operate BC|MeshMapper include BC|Commander v11.22.6 or newer, Firmware v11.17 or newer, and a functional GPS, such as the GlobalSat-BU-353S4 USB GPS receiver.

The Advantages of Using BC|MeshMapper

BC|MeshMapper assists network designers and administrators by visualizing coverage and connectivity challenges across their site. It automatically generates data files for use with Google Earth to illustrate how the mesh network performs over a traveled route. BC|MeshMapper collects signal strength and InstaMesh cost data from a designated mobile Breadcrumb enabled with GPS as it travels throughout the site. It then displays it visually and incorporates all of the Rajant NetCrumbler’s capabilities right inside BC|Commander, except using cost instead of latency.

The color-coded heat maps generated by BC|MeshMapper depict the paths traveled and assessments of the paths. Colors vary map-to-map due to different thresholds, which are appropriate for various networks and applications. This can be used in roundtrip engineering to validate propagation models and to gauge the Total Path Cost between the mobile device and the gateway device (SlipStream or Gateway router IP address) to the wired network. The maps also contain other pertinent information, such as signal strengths, path costs, and further details about each Breadcrumb peer along the selected path. All deliverables need to be configurable by the end-user before the run commences.

Below are examples of two travel routes and are for illustration purposes only. In these instances, the colors represent:

  • Green = total path cost 10000 or under
  • Orange = total path cost 10001 and 20000
  • Red = total path cost greater than 20000.

Example path trace showing connection quality with color coding:

Meshmapper 4

Example path trace showing connection details:

Meshmapper 5

In the end, BC|MeshMapper gives the network administrator yet another weapon in the arsenal against network drift. Monitoring, along with using BC|Enterprise, Rajant’s historical network monitoring tool, provides the administrator with full visibility into the condition of their network health. 🖉

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