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New Trails in Wireless Mesh Networks

On the evening of September 10, 2001, Paula C. Beauregard was scheduled to arrive at the Marriott World Trade Center in Manhattan for meetings the next day with other managers at her software company. But, at the last minute her trip was rescheduled to the following week.

On the morning of September 11, the historic hotel where Beauregard had planned to stay became an escape route after two planes struck the Twin Towers in the 9/11 terrorist attack. “The Marriott Hotel at 3 World Trade Center was nestled between the Twin Towers and served as the mouth of a tunnel, a runway in and out of the burning towers for perhaps a thousand or more people,” according to the nonprofit organization, Marriott WTC Survivors Group.

When the Twin Towers collapsed, the Marriott Hotel was destroyed.

The realities of that infamous day left Beauregard stunned. She knew if it not for a last minute change of plans, she would have been in the midst of uncertainty and chaos. She also learned a colleague’s son was on the ill-fated Flight 93. And, like most Americans, she faced the realization that they were vulnerable to devastating terrorist attacks.

As days ensued after 9/11 and more information emerged, Beauregard found it disturbing that first responders had a difficult time coordinating field communications and obtaining information they desperately needed. “They didn’t have advanced technology to effectively support their missions. That was the beginning of the turn of my career,” Beauregard explained, “I focused on doing what I could to improve security in our country and to improve communications, especially for our first responders.”  

With a versatile career in technology, Beauregard co-founded Edge Velocity Corporation in 2004 and is the firm’s CEO. Serving the commercial sector, homeland defense, and the first responder community, the company designs, manufactures, and markets Mobile IP (Internet Protocol) wireless mesh solutions. Wireless mesh networks are inherently fault tolerant, providing multiple, redundant communications paths and the capability to operate over large distances.. Dynamic packet routing combined with the self-forming and self-healing of the mesh network creates new data paths as wireless nodes enter and leave the network due to communication failure or roaming. “With Edge Velocity technology, the mesh is created automatically and establishes communications dynamically—anywhere and everywhere. Any wireless mesh networking node entering or leaving the scene automatically joins or leaves the mesh with no impact to the rest of the network,” said Beauregard.

In responding to a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other large-scale incident, federal agents, firefighters, police and paramedics arrive at the scene with mostly voice communications and limited inter-agency communications. “Wireless communication is obstructed by frequency issues, particularly in urban and industrial centers, and by the inability to reach and interconnect high angle, subterranean, interior and exterior responders with their tactical command posts, centralized command, and other responding agencies,” Beauregard said. Edge Velocity’s wireless mesh solutions address all of these requirements and are not subject to bandwidth degradation.  Their communication solutions can be deployed by non-technical personnel in minutes, and sustain communications throughout any event.  

“We strive to conform to our client’s environment, instead of expecting our client to conform to our product,’” said Beauregard describing her company’s position in the industry. Most Edge Velocity clients have specific communication needs typically not found in current off-the-shelf technology. Beauregard’s team digs deep to understand a client’s core mission and then goes to work to customize and configure software that readily adapts to unique customer environments. Their hardware designs accommodate a gamut of public cellular and private wired and wireless networks.

Communications within extreme environments and situations drive the company’s technical creativity. Edge Velocity’s Edge Interlock ™ software and wireless networking routers allow for users to quickly set up agile, high-performance, dependable networks wherever needed for rapid response situations and hostile environmental conditions. “We identified significant technology gaps in the industry, and took on the challenge,” said Beauregard. “Our systems interoperate with, and extend the capabilities of, existing networks and devices.”

Headquartered in Salem, New Hampshire, Edge Velocity has deployed solutions in some of the nation’s most demanding, security-driven and challenging environments. They assist first responders, defense contractors, transportation agencies and other companies with connecting in real world environments through customized mesh networks. The company recently partnered with DRS Technologies to deliver an integrated rugged mobile solution for the Fire Department of New York’s Electronic Patient Care Record Program. The system delivers patient records directly to the emergency medical technicians while en route to the hospital—and provides a simultaneous link to the same system used by the doctors at the hospital preparing to receive incoming patients.

When Beauregard describes her personal experience on 9/11, she speaks with palpable compassion for those who escaped, those who helped, and those who lost their lives. She describes the commitment of Edge Velocity, a company that grew from the ruins of 9/11, with the same depth. “There’s a quote by Muriel Strode that resonates strongly with me and the company, Beauregard said. “‘Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’ We decided to push the boundaries and blaze a new trail in the industry.” 

For more information, please visit: www.edgevelocity.com

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