Operation Green Light (OGL) is a 19-city, multi-agency collaborative project to improve the coordination of traffic signals on major routes throughout the neighboring states of Kansas and Missouri. The goal is to ensure smooth traffic flow, minimize vehicle stops and to reduce pollution, fuel consumption and delays.
|ETI installed a broadband wireless network for the City of Lenexa, Kansas that connects government buildings, municipal vehicles, traffic signals and video cameras in Lenexa. The result is more efficient city operations and dramatically reduced communications costs.
OGL wanted to find a way to stream up-to-the-minute traffic flow information from key traffic lights back to a central control room in each city. After investigating the technology options, officials realized that a wireless broadband network would be the most cost-effective and fastest way to achieve this.
And so in month 2004, thorough site surveys were carried out in each city and, after testing equipment from a number of vendors, it was decided to use equipment from Alvarion to build the entire OGL network.
The network was designed so that backhaul links, which operate in the licensed 18 GHz spectrum and start at OGL’s HQ in Missouri, would provide a pipe to each city. These backhaul networks feed Alvarion BreezeACCESS VL base stations placed on towers throughout the two states.
Traffic lights were fitted with IP cameras and video servers and connected to BreezeACCESS VL CPEs. The CPEs feed the traffic light signaling data and video images back to one of the base stations which then transfers the information back to the central control room in each city.
Lenexa expands its wireless broadband network beyond OGL
The city of Lenexa, which is about 12 miles southwest of Kansas City, was the first to go live with its OGL network. Involvement in OGL has had an unexpected and beneficial consequence for the city: funding to help grow their metropolitan network.
For quite some time, officials in Lenexa had wanted to extend the fiber and other wired infrastructures to meet the broadband needs of their growing city. But the cost of expansion had proved to be prohibitively high.
However, Lenexa was able to extend the wireless network built for OGL so that it could provide broadband to remote fire and police stations with no wired infrastructure. This network went live in 2006.
Lenexa then decided to build a public safety network using the licensed 4.9 GHz band allocated nationwide to law enforcement and related agencies. For this task, Alvarion’s BreezeACCESS 4900 was used to give the city a powerful backbone for its critical communications. With 18 mbps throughput in real-world conditions, the network is used to connect desktop PCs in various public safety offices around the city as well as the recently constructed Lenexa Conference Center and Legler Barn, home to the town's historical museum.
|Today the OGL network covers all the planned 19 cities – an area of some 400 square miles. Traffic congestion has indeed been eased as has pollution and the project is considered a complete success.
Lenexa then wanted to provide mobile broadband to Lenexa’s municipal vehicles such as street sweepers and traffic wardens. Using OGL’s 5.8 GHz fixed wireless network for backhaul, Alvarion BreezeACCESS 900 base stations were deployed around the city and mobile subscriber units (SU-M) were put in the municipal vehicles to connect to their in-vehicle computers. Each vehicle now enjoys from 1.2 to 1.8 mbps of broadband connectivity resulting in enormous productivity improvements. Moreover, the Alvarion systems contain software that enables seamless handoffs between base stations. This "make before break" capability does instantaneous switching which makes the transition before the existing connection fades, similar to the handoff of a cellular call.
Today the OGL network covers all the planned 19 cities – an area of some 400 square miles. Traffic congestion has indeed been eased as has pollution and the project is considered a complete success.
In Lenexa, wireless networks connect government buildings, municipal vehicles, traffic signals and video cameras throughout the city’s entire 30 square mile area.
Lenexa’s networks have been so successful that in October 2005 at The Wireless Internet Institute’s prestigious annual awards open to community-wide wireless broadband networks around the world, Lenexa was named as the runner-up and cited as “a network to watch”.