Feature Article

September 15, 2015

Sunsight Instruments Introduces Microwave Path Alignment Solution

Sunsight Instruments used CTIA Super Mobility in Las Vegas last week as the launch pad for its new Microwave Path Alignment Kit. The solution is generally available now.

Microwave installations involve line-of-site communications, and getting accurate readings so installers can position equipment correctly can be a lengthy process, explained John Vetter, said vice president of business development, in an interview at CTIA. This new Sunsight Instruments solution helps address that challenge by enabling technicians to use tablets (at each end of a microwave installation) that are connected by a Wi-Fi feed. The applications on the tablets work together to do calculations and provide one another with target values as to azimuth, latitude and longitude, and tilt.

Using this solution, Vetter said, microwave installers can get accurate readings within just a few minutes and turn on a signal within about 20 to 30 minutes—as opposed to taking a day to complete these tasks.

Sunsight Instruments is a decade-old company that was founded by retired NASA and Siemens engineers and RF engineers from the wireless arena. Using tools to ensure wireless infrastructure is installed correctly the first time is important, Vetter noted, because if such systems are out of tolerance it affects performance relating to everything else down the line.

“If we can make the network to perform the way it was designed to, everything’s great,” he said.

Before the company came out with its alignment tools it had introduced a sensor product that uses the sun as a solar compass—hence the name Sunsight Instruments. In fact, that was the company’s original product. This solution hasn’t taken off, Vetter said, indicating it may have been ahead of its time. The market needs to be educated on the value of this kind of solution, however, he suggested, noting that even a half a degree on tilt can have a huge impact on performance.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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