Wireless device gateway with integrated WLAN backhaul
Phoenix Contact’s WirelessHART gateway can increase the reliability and flexibility of an existing HART network. The 45 mm-wide RAD-WHG/WLAN-XD rail-mount gateway features an integrated 802.11b/g WLAN transceiver. It connects up to 250 WirelessHART field devices, converting HART data to Modbus TCP or HART UDP for easy integration into almost any host system. The integrated WLAN can serve as the backhaul connection, allowing the gateway to be installed in the field closer to the monitored devices. This allows the user to create a clustered network topology, effectively creating several smaller WirelessHART networks with a wireless connection to the host system.
To maintain a secure connection, the gateway uses the 802.11i (WPA2) standard with 128-bit AES encryption to protect the WLAN data. The WLAN transceiver can also be disabled, and the host connection made via the wired Ethernet port. All programming and diagnostics can be accessed via an embedded Web server. The gateway can also be programmed using a HART handheld programmer.
HART7, the most recent revision of the HART standard, added a wireless option within the HART protocol, increasing the usability and extending the range of HART applications.
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– Edited by Renee R. Bassett for Control Engineering, www.controleng.com