Wireless Mesh Network in Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base

Camp Pendleton, a large Marine Corps base in Southern California, has deployed a wireless mesh network for the base’s Energy Management Control Systems (EMCS) and Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI). The network is also used for monitoring wireless security cameras around water reservoirs.

This is the first pilot smart multi-grid network for the Base Facilities Department at Camp Pendleton. The network is comprised of MeshDynamics MD4000 wireless mesh nodes incorporating a 5.8 GHz network backbone architecture connecting areas of the base utilizing local 2.4 GHz mesh networks. The wireless network covers approximately 23 square miles with the longest transmission link being 4.8 miles long.

The goal of the network is to allow the Facilities Department’s staff to monitor and control building heating, lighting and airconditioning from a central control center via the wireless mesh network, instead of sending people to run around all day performing these tasks. This saves the base a lot of time and money, and allows staff to fix problems as soon as they arise. In addition, the AMI provides electric, gas, and water billing data through the wireless network.

The wireless security video cameras set up around the reservoirs are also a big time and money saver because the base covers 400,000 acres and it is nearly impossible to send staff to check the conditions around the reservoirs everyday. There are plans to deploy wireless video cameras around the base perimeter, creating a “virtual fence” so that the base does not have to build a physical fence, a project which is extremely costly, due to the terrain and negative environmental impact.

The network took 7 months to deploy. The systems integrator is Technology Associates International Corporation (TAIC) and the mesh equipment comes from MeshDynamics.

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