ClearMesh Networks Inc. – CM 3002018-12-31T21:15:48+00:00

Project Description

CM 300

Clear Mesh Networks Inc.

Contextual Research, Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial

Background & Challenges

ClearMesh Networks, Inc., developed a fiber-grade wireless mesh broadband networking system for metropolitan areas as a more cost-effective alternative to laying hard fiber to carry high-quality voice, data, and video services. The company, with support from Idealab, a multibillion-dollar technology incubator, tasked Nectar with designing the optical nodes, upon which the system operates. 

Outdoor Network Node Mounting Challenges

The ClearMesh CM 300 nodes provide citywide broadband coverage to support first responder, video surveillance, transportation, and business community applications. It is an essential component that establishes a citywide wireless network. Designing the node presented Nectar with several challenges, including configuring the optical head for outdoor mounting on roofs, poles, and walls; for accurate aiming to and from connected nodes in the mesh; and for residence to widely varying environmental conditions. In addition to overcoming these challenges, Nectar had to create a design that could be easily assembled and manufactured at low cost.

Simulating Difficult Environmental Conditions

To ensure that the ClearMesh CM 300 node would perform in extreme environmental conditions, Nectar leveraged industry-leading finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation tools to simulate the effects of potential temperature, wind, humidity, and seismic loads. Using these insights, Nectar developed a passive thermal regulation system to withstand extreme heat and cold, a weather-tight sealing system to protect against wind-propelled dust and water, and structural mounting features for secure installations onto rooftops and poles. The firm also labored to utilize low-cost materials and tooling to control assembly and manufacturing costs.

Functional Even under Extreme Weather Conditions

Nectar delivered a ClearMesh CM 300 node design that surpassed critical design requirements. The unit was successfully tested in extreme weather environments in locations such as Chicago, where a record number of the units were installed along major transportation corridors to link government and contractor facilities. The ClearMesh CM 300’s die-cast magnesium enclosure integrates handholds and positioning markings to assist installers. Nectar’s design for the ClearMesh CM 300 is durable, reliable, and efficient. The node is engineered to resist extreme heat, cold, frost, wind, humidity, and seismic events.

The new brand designs also had to adhere to an evolutionary rollout strategy—adding more capabilities to distinguish the products as new while remaining familiar to the look and feel of previous models for existing customers—as well as withstand the potential for damage during shipping.