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Field Area Router

Definition

A Field Area Router (FAR) is a communication device used in utility and industrial networks to provide connectivity between the field devices and the supervisory control system. It operates at the edge of the network, aggregating data from multiple field devices such as sensors, actuators, and smart meters. The FAR plays a crucial role in ensuring reliable and secure communication, supporting multiple communication protocols, and enabling remote monitoring and control of the connected devices.

Phonetic

The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Field Area Router” can be represented as:Fee-ld A-re-a Row-ter- Field: /ˈfiːld/- Area: /ˈeəriə/- Router: /ˈraʊtər/

Key Takeaways

  1. Field Area Routers are crucial components in smart grid and IoT networks, responsible for interconnecting various devices in field area networks, ensuring reliable data communication.
  2. These routers provide advanced features like routing, load balancing, and security, enabling effective and secure communication between different devices within the network and with control centers.
  3. Field Area Routers support multiple wireless communication technologies (e.g. Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and cellular), allowing flexibility in deployment and facilitating interoperability between different types of devices and network architectures.

Importance

The technology term “Field Area Router” is important as it plays a crucial role in connecting and managing the communication between various devices and networks within a field area network (FAN). As a part of modern network infrastructures, particularly in smart grid and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications, field area routers enable seamless data transfer, real-time monitoring, and efficient operations by providing secure, reliable routing and optimized communication among field devices, remote sensors, and centralized control systems.

By integrating diverse communication technologies and protocols, these routers enhance overall network performance, interoperability, and scalability, thus facilitating organizations to effectively manage and maintain their critical systems, reduce operational costs, and improve productivity.

Explanation

Field Area Router (FAR) is an essential networking component designed to facilitate seamless communication across vast operational areas. The primary purpose of a FAR is to provide reliable and secure network connectivity in physically challenging or disparate environments, such as remote field locations, industrial plants, and utility management facilities.

By ensuring uninterrupted data transmission between sensors, control systems, and other network-connected devices, Field Area Routers enable organizations to closely monitor, manage, and maintain their critical infrastructures efficiently. These routers exhibit exceptional resilience to overcome challenges such as harsh weather conditions, variable power sources, and extended geographical distances.

Moreover, Field Area Routers play a crucial role in simplifying network management while bolstering the overall security of the devices they connect. By supporting multiple communication protocols, FARs can effortlessly integrate with a wide range of legacy and modern-day devices, ensuring seamless communication and streamlined operation.

Additionally, configurable quality of service and robust security features enable these routers to prioritize critical data traffic while safeguarding sensitive information from external threats. Consequently, Field Area Routers have become invaluable for industries like energy, oil and gas, transportation, and smart city management, as they facilitate real-time decision making, pave the way for predictive maintenance, and contribute to the optimization of various mission-critical processes.

Examples of Field Area Router

Field Area Routers (FARs) are advanced networking devices used for connecting different types of devices in various industries such as power utilities, oil and gas, and transportation. Here are three real-world examples of Field Area Router technology in action:

Smart Grid Implementation: In the emerging smart grid sector, FARs play a crucial role in integrating and managing communication between different devices such as smart meters, IoT sensors, and control centers. For example, Cisco’s 1000 Series Connected Grid Routers (CGR 1000) are designed to provide secure communication, monitoring, and control of smart grid networks to improve the overall stability, efficiency, and responsiveness of power grids.

Oil and Gas Industry: FARs are used for monitoring and controlling various devices in the oil and gas sector, including drilling equipment, pipelines, and storage facilities. They facilitate efficient communication between field assets and control centers, ensuring secure data transmission and swift responses to emergencies and potential system failures. An example is ABB’s Tropos 6420-XA Field Area Router, which is designed to provide reliable and scalable wireless communication for mission-critical applications in the oil and gas industry.

Transportation Infrastructure Management: Field Area Routers are employed in transportation systems like railway networks, traffic control systems, and smart city infrastructure to improve overall efficiency, safety, and communication between different devices. For instance, in railway systems, FARs enable real-time communication between trains, switches, and control centers, optimizing routes and reducing delays. As an example, Siemens’ Ruggedcom RX1400 router provides seamless communication in transportation networks and supports various connectivity options, enabling the integration of different devices and ensuring comprehensive communication management.

FAQ – Field Area Router

1. What is a Field Area Router?

A Field Area Router (FAR) is a network device that enables connectivity and data communication for IoT devices and field sensors, especially in a wireless communication network. It plays a crucial role in providing a reliable and scalable connection between the connected devices and the central control network.

2. How does a Field Area Router work?

A Field Area Router works by connecting to numerous field devices and sensors and aggregating their data. Then, it optimizes this data for transmission through a wireless or wired communication to the central control system, where the data can be processed, stored, analyzed, and used for decision-making purposes.

3. What are the key features of a Field Area Router?

Some of the key features of a Field Area Router include:

  • Support for multiple communication protocols
  • Wide-area connectivity
  • Ruggedized design for harsh environments
  • Low power consumption
  • Scalable architecture for large networks

4. What industries can benefit from using Field Area Routers?

Industries that can significantly benefit from using Field Area Routers include:

  • Smart Grids and Utilities
  • Oil and Gas
  • Smart Cities
  • Agriculture
  • Environmental Monitoring

5. What factors should I consider when choosing a Field Area Router?

Some factors to consider when choosing a Field Area Router include:

  • Communication range and network coverage
  • Supported communication protocols
  • Power options and energy efficiency
  • Security and encryption features
  • Environmental conditions and durability
  • Scalability and future expansion needs

Related Technology Terms

  • Wide Area Network (WAN)
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
  • Network Gateway
  • Wireless Sensor Network (WSN)
  • Remote Monitoring and Control

Sources for More Information

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