The Fieldbus Foundation (www.fieldbus.org) and ISA (www.isa.org) have announced an agreement to facilitate the implementation of wireless backhaul transport networks. This technology initiative is based on shared interests in serving the needs of end users and suppliers of wireless systems in industrial automation.

Representatives of both organizations discussed the wireless project today at ISA EXPO 2008 in Houston, TX

At an ISA100 meeting in June, ISA100 leaders established a new working group, ISA100.15-Wireless Backhaul Networks Working Group-to develop and maintain a standard to address one or more dedicated or shared wireless backhaul(s) to support technologies running multiple applications. The first of these backbones will be the Fieldbus Foundation”s High Speed Ethernet (HSE) implementation.

To expedite the work, the Fieldbus Foundation and ISA have entered into a cross-licensing agreement allowing the two organizations to collaborate on wireless networks. To enable the ISA100.15 working group to develop the wireless backhaul standard, it will be necessary to use extracts of Fieldbus Foundation specifications as well as parts of other ISA standards in development.

As part of the wireless backhaul network initiative, the Fieldbus Foundation and ISA will develop a standard to interface between different technologies suitable for backhaul networking; address wireless co-existence (frequency sharing) related to the backhaul networks; define prioritization of multiple applications and ensure quality of service; support multiple application protocol translators; and address security issues on backhaul networks. ISA will publish the technical documents as a standard within the ISA100 family of standards, and the standard will be jointly owned by the two organizations and used accordingly in the marketplace.