Communications developer involved in Thai football team's rescue speaks out

06 August 2018

Following the harrowing ordeal of the Thai football team, trapped in a water-filled cave, Uzi Hanuni, CEO of Maxtech Networks, discusses the MaxMesh technology that helped make the teams’ rescue possible. 

Rescuers faced many challenges after locating the trapped boys and their coach in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand. Normal radio signals were blocked by cave walls, and water from the monsoon season posed additional challenges.

Acting on the emergency, Hanuni dispatched an engineer and several of his MaxMesh radios to the scene, essentially establishing a relay network throughout the two miles of twists, turns and partially submerged areas of the tunnel. The solution enabled rescuers to connect, share, collaborate and ultimately bring the team to safety.

As Hanuni explained: “Our technology is based on creating a mesh network of software-defined radios. SDRs are radio communication systems using software on a personal computer or embedded system.

“Every time you switch on a radio, it automatically joins the network. Each radio is also a relay, and the intelligent frequency modulation algorithms are built into the radios. They can transmit video, voice and data simultaneously.”

Hanuni’s interest in devising a better form of communication technology arose after the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, as he saw many first responders cut off after the World Trade Center towers collapsed and the resultant damage to their radio antennas.

“I thought the technology we needed to develop had to work automatically so that you switch on the radio and suddenly it's connected – peer-to-peer groups, multicast, unicast, broadcast, whatever you want. And you have it there with no need to preconfigure the radios,” Hanuni continued.

“It took us a few years to develop the sophisticated algorithm and the technology that works indoors, outdoors, underground, above ground – in all places, automatically with no human interference or involvement.

“Our technology can be encapsulated in various forms. The Mini PCI Express card [that we use] is our own technology, only it has a field-programmable gate array. This is the key fundamental component.

"We are using the Analog Devices AD9364 high performance, highly integrated radio frequency Agile transceiver for communications. In addition, we are also using the Samsung ARTIK 7, which is a module that offers great performance for high-end gateways with local processing and analytics to improve latency and responsiveness."

This information was made available thanks to Mouser Electronics' interviewing Uzi Hanuni, CEO of Maxtech Networks.

For more information, watch the full interview with Uzi Hanuni at https://youtu.be/xCvy_IeKXNU and visit this link from Mouser on the Maxtech Networks technology involved.

Plus, for Editor Mark Gradwell's thoughts on the Thai football team's rescue and the technology involved, visit the editorial column here.


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