Also acquires minority stake in Firetide
ESCO Technologies, a supplier of special purpose utility applications for electric, gas and water utilities, has acquired a minority stake in Firetide, a provider of wireless infrastructure mesh networks, and has also entered into a strategic alliance agreement with Firetide through its subsidiary, Aclara RF Systems.
Aclara has introduced the Aclara Smart Communications Network system at the Autovation 2009 Trade Show in Denver. It is a high-bandwidth, high-speed, standards-based flexible communication system that will employ TCP / IP communication protocols including IEEE 802.11 technology for wireless communications. It brings together existing utility assets and applications into a single, two-tiered network architecture that will replace multiple low-to-medium bandwidth systems currently used to communicate data.
The company said that the Smart Communications Network provides an interface between utility and IT resources and back-office applications for SCADA control and monitoring systems, advanced metering infrastructure systems, home-area networks and mobile workforce applications.
Firetide provides multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) radio technology and the network management software required for Aclara to communicate in mesh, point-to-point, or point-to-multipoint modes. The technology supports data throughput rates of 1Mb/s to 300 Mb/s in outdoor environments, to handle utility distribution applications.
Aclara and Firetide have already developed a wide-area network (WAN) for utility customers based in part on Firetide’s proven wireless networking technology.
Bo Larsson, CEO of Firetide, said: This strategic alliance combines Firetide’s industry-leading technology and Aclara’s market expertise to deliver a high-value solution for utilities especially as it relates to emerging smart grid initiatives.”