Wireless Personal Area Networks Book Adds IEC 62591 WirelessHART

After a two-week hiatus and lots of time away from “the grid”, let’s get things going here on the blog again. I was speaking with Emerson’s Dr. José A. Gutierrez. He was kind enough to send me the third edition of the book, Low-Rate Wireless Personal Area Networks: Enabling Wireless Sensors With IEEE 802.15.4.

José collaborated with Ludwig Winkel, Edgar H. Callaway, Jr., and Raymond L. Barrett, Jr.

In the book’s Foreword to the Third Edition, HART Communications Foundation‘s Executive Director, Ron Helson wrote:

I am particularly pleased that they [the authors] chose WirelessHART as the key feature of the third edition of this book. The authors very articulately show the progression of IEEE Std 802.15.4, presenting WirelessHART as a successful work product example based on this technology.

The authors note that this book:

…is designed to complement IEEE Std 802.15.4 by presenting an overview of the features that characterize it, the applications that motivate it, and the rationale that dictated several of the design options chosen during its creation… It is directed to people interested in the field of “simple” wireless connectivity. It focuses on wireless sensors and actuators for the industry in general.

The book is divided in four parts. The first looks at the IEEE Standard 802.15.4 with aspects including power consumption, range, frequencies, network topology and self-organization. It highlights a broad range of applications in industrial, commercial, and residential settings. The second part provides a technical overview of the 802.15.4 standard including the physical layer, access control sublayer, and network functionality.

The third part explores system design considerations and is geared for wireless device manufacturers. The forth part looks specifically at the WirelessHART / IEC 62591 implementation of the 802.15.4 standard for process control applications. This implementation addresses the:

…high levels of reliability and security when compared to residential and commercial applications… Wireless sensing devices in industrial applications are expected to run without any interruption for several years, especially in continuous automated processes… Security requirements are also stringent in industrial networks, putting high emphasis in process data confidentiality and data integrity of the process data.

The authors do a great job of explaining how the special requirements for process automation were addressed by the IEC 62591 WirelessHART standard. There is also an excellent glossary of terms so you can easily understand the vocabulary used in wireless personal area network communications.

Whether you are a plant engineer who’d like to understand the basics of the standard or an automation supplier who is designing wireless devices, the book will help you learn more about this important standard and its application in process control.

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