Seamless Wi-Fi and Cellular Connectivity for Airport Vehicles using SpeedFusion SD-WAN

In this design lab I am going to show how Peplink SD-WAN]( can be used to maintain a reliable connection between a mobile vehicle and a datacenter using multiple wireless WAN connections at the same time for resilience and bandwidth aggregation.

An airport operator has a fleet of 20 ‘follow me’ vehicles used by airside marshals to guide aircraft from and to their boarding gates and the runway.

Although a good percentage of the airfield has WiFi coverage - particularly when close to the main airport buildings, due to its size there are many locations without usable WiFi - especially those areas nearest the runway.

Each ‘Follow Me’ vehicle needs to have reliable network connectivity with the headquarters situated deep within the main airport building complex - where custom scheduling and communication applications are based, to allow for efficient operation and scheduling of the vehicles and their deployment across the large site.

WiFi can not be relied upon as the only connectivity method, and other connectivity (such as cellular 3G/4G/LTE) should be used to maintain the connection. The more expensive cellular bandwidth should only be used when WiFi coverage is unavailable.

The vehicle operator will be using multiple wired and wireless client devices on board such as tablets and smartphones to access the scheduling application. Each vehicle will also have an HD IP Video camera installed to provide live visuals to operational staff in the headquarters relaying time-sensitive, operational information to allow better situational decision making.

Physical location tracking of all vehicles on a live map is required for operational awareness and efficiency.

Suggested Solution

  1. Each vehicle has a MAX Transit Duo
    ]( installed which has two cellular modems. Each modem is populated with a SIM card from a different mobile network operator to guarantee cellular coverage across the site. 1. The MAX transit can use WiFi as a WAN connection - allowing it to connect to the existing airport WiFi network infrastructure. The MAX Transit is configured with WiFi WAN as the highest priority WAN link with cellular as priority 2.
  2. SpeedFusion
    ]( is configured to use all available WAN links but prioritise the WiFI WAN link when it is available - reducing the amount of cellular bandwidth consumption.
    If the Wifi WAN is unavailable, SpeedFusion will seamlessly failover to the cellular connectivity and bond both cellular connections (so long as they are both in coverage).
  3. In the headquarters, a pair of Balance 580
    ](’s are used in a highly available configuration and provide SpeedFusion termination for the remote vehicles. 1. InControl 2
    ]( is used as both the SD-WAN controller and for fleet management to track the location of all the vehicles in real time across the site.

Logical Network Diagram

Additional Notes

  • The MAX Transit routers can be powered using both the hard wired terminals on the front and the DC connecter at the back enabling the use of an in vehicle UPS or dual batteries / power sources for resilience and extended run times even when the engine is turned off…

Devices Deployed: Balance 580](, Max Transit Duo