WirelessSafetyPaperPublished - Equipment Safety in the...

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Equipment Safety in the Wireless Networking Laboratory Environment Lawrence W. Hill Information Technology Department Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences Rochester Institute of Technology 102 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623-5608 (585) 475-7064 [email protected] ABSTRACT Wireless networking has become an important focus area in our Applied Networking and System Administration degree program at RIT. Students must have more than a basic exposure to and subsequent understanding of basic wireless network setup, administration and RF (radio frequency) knowledge commensurate with solving connectivity issues for customers in their future careers. To this end, the IT dept at RIT offers an undergraduate concentration in wireless networking. The first course, “Concepts of Wireless Networking,” focuses on the basic infrastructure of the wireless network, using WiFi (or 802.11b), 900 MHz equipment, and lasers as examples of unguided media. That course covers connectivity topics including range, signal strength, antenna design and deployment, channel selection, and other material related to the physical layer implementation of wireless networks. Fundamental in our approach is the incorporation of extensive hands-on experiences for our students. Multiple mobile carts, equipped with various vendors’ wireless radios, a mini-network with a dedicated laptop computer running appropriate site-survey and wireless performance software and different antenna types are available to our students on an unsupervised sign-out-and-borrow basis throughout the term in which the course is offered. Since 802.11b uses RF in the 2.4 GHz range, similar to that used in the common microwave oven, and lasers have their own set of safety issues, exposure to the electromagnetic energy from this equipment could potentially harm those people working in close proximity to the equipment. To this end, we have determined that our equipment setup and usage protocols are safe for our students. This paper discusses the steps taken to insure lab safety, the analysis and calculation of the radiated and/or emitted power from the radio equipment and the current Federal Communications Commission and Center for Devices and Radiological Health safety requirements such as Maximum Permissible Exposure and signal levels that apply to human safety with respect to 802.11, 900 MHz, and laser communications in the laboratory setting. Categories and Subject Descriptors K.3.m [ Computers and Education ]: Miscellaneous General Terms Measurement, Experimentation Keywords IT education, laboratory, wireless networking, safety, electromagnetic radiation, laser, 802.11, MPE 1. INTRODUCTION Wireless communication infrastructure is becoming as ubiquitous as the telephone nowadays. Both radio and light radiation are used as the means to carry data communications from the end user node to the networking hardware, or from network to network, and is becoming the medium of choice for upgraded systems to
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course IT 4050-350-3 taught by Professor Georgebarido during the Spring '08 term at RIT.

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WirelessSafetyPaperPublished - Equipment Safety in the...

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