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Case Study: The Doppelmayr Mountain Glider

As they fly through the air, the passengers on the Mountain Glider adventure ride are completely unaware that they are taking part in the world's most striking example of Wi-Fi mobility. That's because the Mountain Glider is using wireless technology to monitor the progress of ride cars weighing a ton and moving at speeds of up to 72 kilometers an hour.


When Austrian cable car specialist Doppelmayr built the radically innovative Mountain Glider for Belgium's Walibi Amusement Park, a critical part of their design required the use of a Wireless LAN (WLAN) that would allow onboard safety systems to be constantly connected to a central control station. To do this required a robust solution that delivered seamless mobility without handoff delays between access points (APs). The solution chosen to meet this challenge was the Extricom WLAN System.

Project Summary

What made the Extricom WLAN ideally suited for such a challenging environment was its radically different architecture, one in which rather than associating with individual access points and then roaming between them, a mobile wireless client associates directly with the WLAN switch, and then maintains continuous connectivity through multiple APs without the need to hand off between them.
The result is continuous mobility, even when the wireless client is moving extremely fast as is the case with the Mountain Glider. With the hand-off latency eliminated, the cars are able to maintain real-time network connectivity, allowing park personnel to monitor over 500 safety and performance elements even as the cars hurtle through the air.
The seamless mobility provided by the Extricom WLAN has enabled flawless operation for tens of thousands of riders, all in complete safety and exhilaration. As an added bonus, the Extricom WLAN's channel blanket architecture allows the wireless signal to be separated into layers at the same AP, thus enabling Doppelmayr to deploy an emergency VoWLAN phone system over the same infrastructure without conflict between two differing data types.
Extricom's "always connected" architecture means that the ride's cars can operate at exponentially faster speeds than comparable rides that use cell-based wireless systems. As a result, since its opening in July 2007, the 700-meter long the Mountain Glider has become one of the most popular adventure rides in Europe.
To find out more about how Extricom supported the Doppelmayr Mountain Glider, click here.