What steps are necessary in order to complete a successful site survey?
SITE SURVEY are the inspection of an area where the work is to be done and to collect the information to design or estimates to complete the tasks required for the outdoor activity. The site survey depend on type of the project like wireless network survey, construction survey etc…
For the Computer Science I will provide the order to complete the wireless survey….
A wireless survey is also known as RF site survey or wireless site survey.It is the process of design and plan for a wireless network that provide the data rates, bandwidth, capacity etc.The survey mainly contains the site visit to test RF interface and installation of access points.
The need and complexity for a site survey will vary according to the facility. For e.g. a normal three room office doesn’t need a site survey but at a large facilities like universities, colleges,hospitals, office complex, apartments generally require an site survey. Without a proper survey users will suffer with low performance. Following are the STEP to complete a site survey…..
OBTAIN A FACILITY PROGRAM:
Design a blueprint or floor plans of the areas where you want to install wireless network. Some software products can implements floor plans directly. Look at your plans and identify major building obstacles such as walls, elevators, halls and floors that will block radio signal.
VISUALLY INSPECT THE FACILITY:
Be sure to walk throug the facility or working area before performing the test to verify the accuracy of the program at working area.You may note any potential barriers that may propagate the frequency signal. For e.g. a visually inspection shows will uncover the obstacles like metal racks and partitions that the blue prin generally don’t show.
IDENTIFY USERS AREA:
On the working site mark the areas of fixed and mobile users. In addition to illustrating where mobile users may roam, indicate where they will go and not. You might get with fewer access points if you set the limits of roaming areas.
DETERMINE PRELIMINARY ACCESS POINTS LOCATIONS:
By considering the location of wireless users and range estimation of the wireless LAN product’s you are using, approximate the location of access points that will provide adequate coverage throughout the user areas. Plan for some propagation overlap amomng adjacent access points and keep in mind that channel assignment fior access points will need to far enoough apart to avoid inter-access point interface.
Be certain to consider mountig locations which could be vertical post or metal supports above ceiling titels. Be sure to recognize suitable location for installing access points, data cables, antennas and power lines etc. Think about different antenna when deciding where to install the access points. An access point mounted near an outside wall.
VERIFY ACCESS POINTS (AP) LOCATIONS:
this is done when the real tsting begins. Many wireless LAN vendors loke CISCO, PROXIM and SYMBOL provide free RF site survey tools that identifies the assiciated access points, signal strength, data rate and sysyten capacity and signal quality. You can install these Software on Laptop or PocketPC and test the coverage of each preliminary access points locations.You can also use a hadheld devicce survey tools available from different companies. Berkeley Varitronics is a company that offers multiple handheld devices for site survey such as Grasshopper and Scorpion.
Install Access point at each Preliminary location and monitor the site survey software reading by walking various distances away from the AP’s. Take a note of data rates and signal reading at different points as you move to the outer bounds of access point coverage.In a multi room facility perform the test on above and below the access point.Based on the result of testing you may need to reconsider the loaction of some access points and do the effective test gain.
Once you are satisfied with the plan locations of access point will provide adequate coverage, identiffy the facilty diagram recommended mounting locations.Also provide a log of signal readings and supported data rates near the outer propagation boundary of each AP as basis of future redesign efforts.