Fremantle Ports, also known as the Fremantle Port Authority (FPA), is among Australia’s busiest. Considered the most extensive port operations in Western Australia, FPA carries historical significance dating back to 1897 when it welcomed European settlers.
Fremantle Ports surround the mouth of the Swan River with the container handling and primary operations located on the north side, known as Rous Head. It is serviced by trucks and a rail terminal providing the logistics arteries in and out of Fremantle. A passenger terminal, vehicle import laydown areas, and the administration building are located on the south side of the port, known as Victoria Quay. To harness other technologies and provide the opportunity to become a digital port in the IIoT age, Fremantle chose Rajant as its wireless network.
An operational port environment, like Fremantle, provides many challenges for a wireless network. This includes the movement of ships, cranes, and walls of sea containers stacked and moved constantly. Sea containers are made of rippled metal surfaces, which are reflective to radio frequency (RF) but disperse radio signals due to the shape of their construction. FPA is located in an urban area. This adds other RF sources, including Wi-Fi networks, LTE coverage, and ship radar, all of which contribute to a hostile RF environment.
In the 2019-2020 financial year alone, Fremantle moved 783,437 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), importing 77,962 vehicles and 32.6 million mass tons of cargo. Becoming a digital port meant installing a wireless network to provide continuous awareness of the shipment and the people, machinery, and infrastructure supporting this operation level.
Real-time monitoring was a requirement to aid in efficiency, traffic congestion, and public safety for the port. What Fremantle needed was a wireless mesh network that enables mobile trailers to connect and communicate with the fiber optic LAN throughout the Fremantle Ports inner harbor.
TASC Digital Control Systems WA successfully won a tender to provide a mobile vehicle detection system and supporting wireless network for the Fremantle Port Authority. Their project was split into mobile trailers with surveillance capabilities and a wireless network to provide connectivity for the trailers…
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