Citizen Structure

Area Mesh Design

1. Roof Stations

A secure and private communication network is required to underpin collaboration between citizens.

The MIT Roofnet is an early example of a roof based network where radios on the roofs in the neighbourhood talk to each other, forming an independent high speed data network.

roofnet

A radio mesh on the roof is cool since we can also interact with Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (UAVs) easily on the roof e.g. refuelling them like in Float Mesh nodes. However, the installation of equipment, line of sight requirement etc. make it very difficult to achieve wide adoption. We started on the roofs of some buildings in Sydney using Australian WiFi Frequencies and Australia LoRa Frequencies.

sydney_mesh10

About a year after we have linked 3 buildings (points 1, 2, 3 in above image) together with roof top radios, a new hotel was built in the middle blocking the WiFi signals between point 2 and 3. We now have to install another radio at point 4 in order to maintain roof top connection between all 3 buildings (this installation might be part of the planned 2022 year end meet up in Sydney).

As can be seen, roof node s can be challenging to deploy and operate.
For cities that have 4G in the air and fibre in the ground, we have put the deploying roof top radios on hold. We are still using radio mesh in other cases e.g. Float Mesh and Water Pile, but Virtual Private Mesh over the Internet, which can be deployed with just one command, is now the preferred method linking citizen sites within cities together.

2. Window Stations

With increasing restrictions on UAVs in the city, the advantages of placing Nearby Mesh Nodes on the roof have reduced. And as can be seen in our Roof Top deployment above, building up such a network can be difficult.

However, placing indoor nodes near a window and outdoor nodes on a balcony can still be viable, we will need to investigate that next.