To have a warehouse wireless survey – or not?
Providing large facilities such as a warehouse with wireless is not a straight forward task and without planning can end up with inadequate coverage and suffer from low performance. To prevent this from happening you can commission a Research Frequency (RF) site survey. This enables an appropriate wireless network to be designed that will deliver the coverage, data rates, roaming capabilities, resilience and network capacity you require.
It’s very difficult to predict the propagation of radio waves and detect the presence of interfering signals without the use of test equipment. Radio waves do not tend to travel the same distance in all directions. Instead walls, doors, elevator shafts, people, and other obstacles offer varying degrees of attenuation, which cause the (RF) radiation pattern to be irregular and unpredictable.
The survey identifies the best locations for access points and tests for RF interference. This requires a detailed plan of the warehouse, including racking heights and temperatures, to ensure the design is within the parameters of the wireless network.
An RF site survey consists of creating a floor plan, which is imported to a site survey application and calibrated to scale. This is then used in conjunction with temporary access points (APs) and antenna to test the area. The surveyor walks the warehouse using a portable computer with software which collects and analyses WLAN metrics and RF characteristics, recoding the location of the APs and antenna.
Therefore the RF site survey will supply enough information to determine the number and placement of access points that would provide adequate coverage throughout the facility. In most implementations, “adequate coverage” means support of a minimum data rate. A RF site survey also detects the presence of interference coming from other sources that could degrade the performance of the wireless LAN.