New Tropos 1410 Delivers Secure Field Area Networks for Smart Grid and Other Industrial Applications

Tropos Networks has announced the Tropos 1410 wireless mesh router and wireless bridge for field automation applications. The new product line extends advanced enterprise-class security to utility and industrial applications that monitor and control field automation devices. Furthermore, it provides communications for these applications for as little as half the cost of competitive proprietary, low-speed wireless networks per connected automation endpoint.

Tropos 1410 wireless mesh routers and wireless bridges create secure, IP-based field area communication networks serving thousands of automation endpoints such as intelligent electrical devices, industrial process controllers and SCADA devices. The highly integrated, next-generation hardware design of the Tropos 1410 allows it to achieve a cost up to 50 percent lower than that of single-purpose, proprietary, lower-speed communication offerings. The product line’s integrated firewall and VPN extend enterprise-class security to legacy devices installed in the field that have lacked state-of-the-art security technology. In addition, the Tropos 1410 can be centrally managed by the Tropos Control wireless network management, monitoring and control application.

“Adding the Tropos 1410 to our product line enables secure field communications for an extensive array of utility and industrial customers for as little as half the price of our competitors,” said Tom Ayers, President and CEO for Tropos Networks. “The new line includes the first board-level product from Tropos, enabling developers working on a wide variety of field automation applications to embed secure, low-cost, standards-based wireless communications into their products.”

Utility, mining, oil and gas as well as other industries are increasingly using wireless communications networks to monitor and control assets in the field and large outdoor facilities. These field area networks support a diverse set of applications including automated metering infrastructure and distribution automation for utilities; telemetry and mining management systems for mining; wellhead monitoring and logging for oil and gas; traffic signal management and video monitoring for transportation; process control for refining and chemicals; and SCADA for a wide variety of vertical markets. In the past, companies have been forced to rely on proprietary low-speed wireless communications systems with little security to implement their field area networks.

The Tropos 1410 delivers the most advanced set of security features available for field area networks. Each Tropos 1410 wireless mesh router and bridge will include a built-in firewall and a built-in IPsec VPN. They implement a multi-layer, multi-application security model that provides defense-in-depth and enables traffic from different applications and user groups to be segregated on separate virtual local area networks (VLANs), each with its own address space, quality of service (QoS) policies and security policies including the capability to create one or more standard IPsec VPNs per VLAN. The Tropos 1410 employs RADIUS, 802.1x, and 802.11i authentication, AES encryption and HTTPS-based remote access to secure field area networks from unauthorized devices, users and snooping. The Tropos 1410’s operating software complies with the requirements of NIST FIPS 140-2 Level 2 for U.S. government cyber security and NERC CIP 002-009 for utility critical infrastructure protection.

Tropos offers two product variants in the new line, the Tropos 1410 and the board-level Tropos 1410-B. The Tropos 1410 comes in a ruggedized, weatherized enclosure suitable for use in extreme outdoor environments. The Tropos 1410-B is a module suitable for integration into Smart Grid devices such as smart transformers and intelligent electrical devices as well as into a wide range of industrial process controllers and SCADA devices. Both products can be configured via software load to be either a bridge that connects to any standard 802.11b/g/n wireless network, including Tropos mesh networks, or a fully functional Tropos wireless mesh router. Each supports an 802.11b/g/n wireless connection with full MIMO and a wired connection using 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, RS-232 serial or RS-485 serial. Their Ethernet and serial interfaces will support utility and industrial control protocols, including DNP3, Modbus, SEL Mirrored Bits and IEC 61850, to facilitate integration of utility and process control devices.

Pricing for the Tropos 1410 and Tropos 1410-B with bridging software will be $549 and $399, respectively. They will be available in March 2012 through Tropos’ authorized distributors and resellers as well as online at buy.tropos.com. The units with routing software are priced at $749 for the Tropos 1410 and $599 for the Tropos 1410-B, and will be available in Q3-2012. An upgrade from bridging to routing software will also be available in Q3-2012 at a price of $200 per unit.