ABB Advances Oil Field Networking

ABB has introduced the Tropos 6420-XA, a fourth-generation outdoor broadband mesh router that is an oil well pad communications hub for all life cycle phases from lease to production. Using the Tropos 6420-XA, upstream oil and gas companies can own a single wireless network to meet all their communication needs throughout the oil well pad life cycle.

According to ABB, communication networks based on the Tropos 6420-XA reduce operational expenses, help maximize oil production efficiency, enhance environmental and worker safety, and support high resolution data to enable improved operational and business decision-making.

Tropos 6420-XA can support application needs throughout the well pad life cycle, eliminating the need to procure communication services. It can also integrate traditional communication devices, such as serial masters, wireless I/O devices and narrowband SCADA radios into a modern wireless communication network. The router’s 802.11 wireless and 10/100/1000BASE-T wired interfaces provide connectivity for the most modern well pad equipment, while the unit’s serial interfaces support connections to legacy equipment.

The Tropos 6420-XA mesh router utilizes the capabilities of the 802.11a/b/g/n family of wireless standards to deliver 600 Mbps total wireless data rate, 300 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and another 300 Mbps at 5 GHz. The broadband performance supports high resolution data and video monitoring at well pads. With access to 653 MHz of RF spectrum, the Tropos 6420-XA uses more available channels, automatically selecting the best frequency to avoid interference and maximize network reliability. The Tropos 6420-XA offers serial (RS-232 and RS-485) interfaces with Modbus (RTU), Modbus (ASCII) and raw serial support to integrate with legacy SCADA masters, wireless I/O controllers and narrowband networking systems.

“Using one field-based communication hub throughout all phases of the well pad life cycle can significantly reduce operational costs and increase efficiency for oil and gas companies,” Chris Rittler, chief executive officer for ABB Wireless, said. “The Tropos 6420-XA provides the broadband performance, reliability and interface flexibility required to support the applications and devices used at well pads now and into the future.”

ABB is also introducing the Tropos 1410-XA wireless mesh router and wireless bridge for oil and gas field automation applications. The Tropos 1410-XA is a lower cost, single-radio device for connecting end devices such as remote terminal units on a well pad to a wireless mesh network infrastructure.

Both the Tropos 6420-XA and Tropos 1410-XA are housed in castings made from Aluminum Association 360 alloy and plated with high-phosphorus electroless nickel to provide resistance to salt fog corrosion. The combination makes the new products well-suited for deployment in coastal and offshore areas where extreme humidity, salt fog, and high winds are commonplace.

The Tropos 6420-XA and Tropos 1410-XA can be managed using Tropos Control, a robust wireless network management system.

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