FreeWave’s Rugged, Low-Power Industrial IoT Solutions Save Lives in Extreme Weather at Mount Washington Observatory

MWOFreeWave Technologies has announced that its ruggedized industrial IoT (IIoT) data radios deliver real-time weather data at the Mount Washington Observatory (MWO), a New Hampshire-based Non-profit research facility. MWO conducts critical weather, atmospheric and climate research that is used for national and global forecasting. The facility also provides vital data that allows local government agencies to assess active conditions in order to protect the lives of crews during search and rescue operations. FreeWave’s family of low-power 900 MHz radios are trusted to deliver the critical data while facing Mount Washington’s extreme weather and harsh conditions.

“As you can imagine, there is little-to-no room for failure when it comes to our climate monitoring efforts that double as a resource to help save lives during search operations,” said Peter Gagne, ‎IT Manager at ‎Mount Washington Observatory. “For more than 13 years, FreeWave’s radios have impressed us with their durability and reliability in some of the most extreme conditions on the planet. We’ve been so pleased with their performance that we will continue to deploy FreeWave as we update our Auto Road Vertical Profile this year. To top it off, we receive top-notch customer service, and the network is cost-effective and easy to deploy.”

MWO has studied the Earth’s climate since 1932. The facility sits atop the highest peak in the Northeast United States, boasting an elevation of 6,288 feet. Researchers frequently encounter 50-100 mph winds and penetrating fog in the summer, with sub-arctic temperatures, 140+ mph winds, freezing fog, and heavy glaze icing in the winter.  Weather conditions change frequently and rapidly, visibility is often compromised, and researchers have seen ice accretion rates of up to 12 inches per hour.

FreeWave is known for its ability to maintain connectivity in environments where other technologies have succumbed to the elements. At Mount Washington, FreeWave’s FGR and FGR2 radios connect a network of 28 sensors and devices on five remote weather stations and have successfully delivered data in spite of Mount Washington’s year-round harsh weather.

Additionally, the weather stations are solar-powered and only receive sunlight 40 percent of the year, another reason that FreeWave’s low-power solutions were ideal for the network. These capabilities have enabled 24-hour, year-round network connectivity.

“Mount Washington Observatory has certainly put our IIoT solutions to the test,” said Kim Niederman, CEO of FreeWave. “Today, I can confidently say that we’ve received the ‘Mount Washington Tested’ stamp of approval, which is no easy feat. However, this unforgiving environment is exactly the type of deployment in which our solutions excel. It is a testament to the dedication and innovation that goes into the FreeWave R&D process in order to deliver excellence and overcome big connectivity challenges facing many IIoT networks.”

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