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Start-Up Licenses National Lab-Developed Network Technology

Phani Teja Kuruganti (foreground) and James Nutaro (Oak Ridge National Lab)

Phani Teja Kuruganti, foreground, and James Nutaro (Oak Ridge National Lab)

Two computer scientists at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee developed wireless network simulation technology, then started up a company to take that technology to market. Oak Ridge Lab licensed Radio Channel Simulator, or RCSim, technology for software development and commercialization to Networcsim LLC, a company formed by the technology’s inventors James Nutaro and Phani Teja Kuruganti (pictured right).

RCSim takes three-dimensional models of an industrial facility to simulate wireless networks. The models use an algorithm that calculates the time delay and power of every radio signal delivered to a particular site. That algorithm allows software to predict radio signal strength with greater accuracy throughout geometrically complex environments.

Nutaro notes that industrial wireless network vendors can identify coverage problems before deploying a network. “It can reduce the need for expensive wireless surveys, lower the quantity and cost of deployed hardware, and improve the accuracy of cost estimates quoted by vendors” says Nutaro, “reducing the installation and operational costs associated with wireless networks.”

The developers expect the company’s software can help wireless networks be better designed and more cost-effective in facilities with unusual layouts or structures, such as mines, offshore drilling platforms, and factory floors. The software can also help simulate tactical wireless networks used in urban police and combat operations, which can help emergency responders or the military.

Networcsim has already completed its first commercial prototype and is negotiating for distribution rights to the software. A beta/trial version of the software can be downloaded for free from the company Web site.

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