ESCO introduces wireless, mesh based wide area network

St. Louis, September 28, 2009 — ESCO Technologies acquired a minority interest in Firetide Inc., a provider of wireless infrastructure mesh networks, and through its Aclara RF Systems unit, formed an alliance with Firetide.

Aclara and Firetide have developed a wide-area network for utility customers based in part on Firetide’s proven wireless networking technology.

Aclara, an infrastructure solutions firm, introduced the Aclara Smart Communications Network solution at the recent Autovation 2009 Trade Show in Denver.

Aclara’s Smart Communications Network solution is a high-bandwidth, high-speed, standards-based flexible communication system that will employ TCP / IP communication protocols as well as IEEE 802.11 technology for wireless communications.

This network solution will bring together existing utility assets and applications into a single, two-tiered network architecture that will replace multiple low-to-medium bandwidth systems currently used to communicate data.

The Aclara Smart Communications Network provides an ideal interface between utility and IT resources and back-office applications for SCADA control and monitoring systems, advanced metering infrastructure systems, home-area networks and mobile workforce applications.

Firetide is providing the multiple-input, multiple-output radio technology and the network management software required for the Aclara solution to communicate in mesh, point-to-point, or point-to-multipoint modes.

Firetide solutions are currently being used by many municipalities and businesses to stream video from security cameras, as well as voice and data for enterprise-wide applications.

The technology supports data throughput rates of 1Mb/s to 300 Mb/s in outdoor environments, making it perfectly suited to handle utility distribution applications. This Smart Communications Network solution matches the speed and performance of a fiber network at a fraction of the cost.

ESCO, headquartered in St. Louis, is a proven supplier of special purpose utility solutions for electric, gas and water utilities, including hardware and software to support advanced metering applications and fully automated intelligent instrumentation.

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