SolarMESH is an IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN mesh network developed by the McMaster University Wireless Networking Group under the supervision of Professor Terry Todd. SolarMESH provides industry standard outdoor wireless hotspot coverage for WiFi end stations. This is accomplished by functioning as a WLAN mesh network and doing backhaul traffic relaying between SolarMESH nodes.


What is Unique About SolarMESH?

SolarMESH is a solar powered IEEE 802.11 mesh and relaying infrastructure solution. No Ethernet or continuous power connections are required, i.e., It allows for a "Drop and Walk" installation. This results in cheap and fast WiFi deployment.

What is the History of SolarMESH?

Development of the first generation of SolarMESH nodes started in 2002. This activity continued under a Canadian NSERC Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in computer networking at McMaster University. This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Research In Motion Inc. (RIM), Communications and Information Technology Ontario (CITO), and McMaster University.

Our activities have included several testbed deployments including an operational network on the McMaster University main campus. In September 2003, four nodes where installed on the rooftops of the JHE Engineering, BSB Science, Hamilton Hall and Student Center buildings. This installation continues to provide outdoor connectivity for the McMaster community as part of the MacConnect Wireless Canopy Project run by McMaster University Technology Services (UTS). The McMaster University deployment is currently upgrading to SolarMESH Version 2 nodes, which were first developed in August, 2005.

Various graduate students and staff have worked on projects dealing with SolarMESH and energy-sustainable mesh networking.