Wireless networking solutions provider Rajant Corp. is branching out with its Kinetic Mesh Network, which currently is used extensively by the military and mining operations, by targeting the oil-drilling sector.

The solution is a multi-radio wireless mesh system that can operate in spectrum ranging from the 350 MHz band to the 6 GHz band. It lets users connect standard Wi-Fi devices such as laptops, PDAs, GPS units, IP cameras, sensors and RFID tags.

Miners use it to connect laptops and voice-over-IP phones up to 3,200 feet from the mine communications center. Battery-powered wireless access nodes enable voice and data communications across a meshed, self-healing network, as well as communication with other IP-based client devices. Bob Schena, CEO of Rajant, said that these networks can operate for years without a network administrator.

Now the company is looking to connect the Gulf of Mexico’s 5,000 oil platforms into one big system it calls Gulf Mesh. “At the moment, most of those platforms don’t have video or security capability, so a vast number of oil platforms are unguarded out in the gulf,” Schena said. “After last summer, we saw what kind of mess a single well can cause.” He was referring, of course, to BP’s massive oil spill in the gulf last summer.

When Rajant originally introduced the mesh system, the company only supported the unlicensed Wi-Fi bands at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, but it now adds various frequencies at customers’ requests.

“One military customer said it needed 4.8 GHz frequencies, and is now doing Wi-Fi at 4.8 GHz, while another military customer wanted 1.8 GHz, and we’re building radio for them,” Schena said. “Users can switch between licensed and unlicensed spectrum in the same network. The network can automatically change to different frequencies if there is interference.”

As such, the network architecture is useful for mobile devices, Schena said. “We’ve taken non-mobile frequencies and applying them to the network so they are useful for mobile devices,” he said. “We’ve focused on mobility not in the traditional sense, but in the network node capability. It’s how we utilize multiple frequencies to create a single network.”

Schena said that the company also has been approached by commercial mobile operators that are aiming to offload their heavy data traffic onto alternative networks. The mesh system can plug into an Ethernet port in an LTE network node and become a complement to LTE networks.