The radio spectrum is a limited resource and as the world becomes more and more connected this becomes a limitation to building reliable wireless networks. Systems such as Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth, smart phones and even microwave ovens all occupy the same wireless frequency range.
Many have already experienced this with the WIFI router at home – when a neighbour installs a new WIFI router and starts to use the same WIFI channels people will experience lower data rates (“slow internet”). In industrial applications this can be very problematic and difficult to solve – imagine to install an industrial system and a year later the IT department adds more WIFI routers for the office network and now the problem begins. Which network has the highest priority? Will someone understand that the new WIFI hub is the problem or just conclude that “it doesn’t work anymore”?
In the past, the solution to this problem was to turn up the transmission power. However, for obvious reasons this is not a sustainable way of solving the problem.
The MIRA protocol solves this fundamental question by a technology called “cognitive co-existence”. Besides sending data, all MIRA nodes simultaneously scan the radio spectrum and predict where the best radio frequency for communication is. Basically, the network automatically looks for “space” where there is no other communication at the moment and use that space for communication (figure 1).
This is a unique and patented feature of the MIRA technology which enables the system to communicate reliably also in mission-critical applications.