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Publication numberUS20090067363 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/181,235
Publication date12 Mar 2009
Filing date28 Jul 2008
Priority date31 Jul 2007
Also published asUS8325637, US8705423, US20090033513, US20090045939, US20130095868
Publication number12181235, 181235, US 2009/0067363 A1, US 2009/067363 A1, US 20090067363 A1, US 20090067363A1, US 2009067363 A1, US 2009067363A1, US-A1-20090067363, US-A1-2009067363, US2009/0067363A1, US2009/067363A1, US20090067363 A1, US20090067363A1, US2009067363 A1, US2009067363A1
InventorsJohn I. Ruiz, Jerald P. Martocci
Original AssigneeJohnson Controls Technology Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System and method for communicating information from wireless sources to locations within a building
US 20090067363 A1
Abstract
A system provides radio frequency signals devices inside a building. The system includes one or more receivers, each receiver configured to receive one or more radio frequency signals from at least one source. The system further includes a device configured to receive the signals from the receiver or receivers. The device combines the received signals into a combination signal and converts the combination signal to a digital signal. The digital signal is then provided over a digital communications medium within the building. The system further includes an antenna system configured to receive the digital signal and to retransmit the radio frequency signals from the sources to the devices inside the building.
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Claims(20)
1. A system for communicating information from a first communication source and a second communication source to electronic devices located within a building via an in-building communications network, the system comprising:
a receiver configured to receive first radio frequency information transmitted from the first communication source, the receiver configured to simultaneously receive second radio frequency information transmitted from the second communication source;
a processing circuit configured to combine the first and second radio frequency information as broadband information and to digitize the broadband information for transmission via the in-building communications network as a digital signal; and
an in-building antenna system configured to receive the digital signal and to provide a reproduction of the first radio frequency information to the first electronic device within the building and a reproduction of the second radio frequency information to the second electronic device within the building via radio frequency communications.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the first radio frequency information comprises first radio frequency signals having a first center frequency and wherein the second radio frequency information comprises second radio frequency signals having a second center frequency, and wherein the first center frequency and the second center frequency are separated by at least 500 MHz.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the processing circuit includes a digital signal processor (DSP) configured to conduct the digitization.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the processing circuit includes a combiner and an analog to digital converter (ADC).
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the processing circuit comprises a passive multiplexer configured to conduct the combination.
6. The system of claim 5, wherein the passive multiplexer is a diplexer or a triplexer.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein the processing circuit comprises a first analog to digital converter to digitize the first radio frequency information and a second analog to digital converter to digitize the second radio frequency information.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein the in-building antenna system comprises a digital to analog converter configured to convert the digital signal to the first radio frequency information and the second radio frequency information and wherein the in-building antenna system further comprises an amplifier configured to amplify the first and second radio frequency information via one or more antennas.
9. The system of claim 1, wherein the processing circuit includes a general purpose processor configured to provide the digitization based on computer code stored in memory of the processing circuit.
10. The system of claim 1, wherein the in-building communications network is an internet protocol (IP) network.
11. The system of claim 1, wherein the first electronic device is a mobile phone, the first communication source is a mobile communications tower, and wherein the second electronic device is a text-messaging device, and the second communication source is a mobile communications antenna.
12. The system of claim 1, wherein the receiver comprises a first antenna for receiving the first radio frequency information and a second antenna for receiving the second radio frequency information.
13. The system of claim 1, wherein the processing circuit is configured to digitize broadband analog information.
14. The system of claim 13, wherein the broadband analog information spans from 800 MHz to 2.1 GHz.
15. The system of claim 13, wherein the broadband analog information spans from 400 MHz to 6.0 GHz.
16. A method for providing radio frequency signals to devices inside a building, the method comprising:
receiving first radio frequency information from a first communication source;
receiving second radio frequency information from a second communication source;
combining the first radio frequency information and the second radio frequency information to form a broadband analog signal;
digitizing the broadband analog signal to form a digitized signal;
distributing the digitized signal to a digital communication medium located within the building;
receiving the digitized signal from the digital communication medium;
converting the digitized signal to the first radio frequency information and the second radio frequency information; and
providing the first radio frequency information and the second radio frequency information to locations inside the building using an antenna system.
17. The method of claim 16, wherein the first radio frequency information and the second radio frequency information provided to locations inside the building are identifiable and recoverable to electronic devices inside the building.
18. The method of claim 16, wherein audio information provided in the first radio frequency information is recoverable by a portable electronic device receiving the first radio frequency information provided to the locations inside the building.
19. The method of claim 16, wherein providing the first radio frequency information and the second radio frequency information to locations inside the building using an antenna system include transmitting the first radio information at around 850 MHz and the second radio information at around 1850-1990 MHz.
20. A broadband RF repeater system, comprising:
a processing circuit to receive RF information from one or more antennas, to combine the received RF information to form broadband RF information, and to digitize the broadband RF information; and
a digital communications medium communicably coupling the processing circuit and local antennas of a distributed antenna system.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/962,697, filed Jul. 31, 2007, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    The present disclosure generally relates to the field of building communications systems. The present disclosure relates more specifically to radio frequency repeaters and distributed antenna systems.
  • [0003]
    Structural interference often prevents radio frequency (RF) information originating from wireless sources (e.g., sources, local sources, etc.) from being adequately received within the walls and/or rooms of a building. Conventional repeater systems are configured to receive narrow-band RF communications originating from outside the building and to repeat the signal at local antennas (e.g., distributed antennas) provided within the building. There is a need for improved systems and methods for communicating information from wireless sources (e.g., located external to a building) to electronic devices located within the building.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0004]
    The invention relates to a system for communicating information from a first communication source and a second communication source located external to a building to electronic devices located within the building via an in-building communications network. The system includes a receiver configured to receive first radio frequency information transmitted from the first communication source, the receiver configured to simultaneously receive second radio frequency information transmitted from the second communication source. The system further includes a processing circuit configured to combine the first and second radio frequency information as broadband information and to digitize the broadband information for transmission via the in-building communications network as a digital signal. The system yet further includes an in-building antenna system configured to receive the digital signal and to provide the a reproduction of the first radio frequency information to the first electronic device within the building and a reproduction of the second radio frequency information to the second electronic device within the building via radio frequency communications.
  • [0005]
    The invention relates to a method for providing radio frequency signals from to devices inside a building. The method includes the steps of receiving first radio frequency information from a first communication source and receiving second radio frequency information from a second communication source. The method further includes combining the first radio frequency information and the second radio frequency information to form a broadband analog signal and digitizing the broadband analog signal to form a digitized signal. The method yet further includes the steps of distributing the digitized signal to a digital communication medium located within the building and receiving the digitized signal via the digital communication medium. The method further includes the steps of converting the digitized signal to the first radio frequency information and the second radio frequency information and providing the first radio frequency information and the second radio frequency information to locations inside the building using an antenna system.
  • [0006]
    The invention relates to a system for providing radio frequency signals from to devices inside a building. The system includes a plurality of receivers, each receiver configured to receive a radio frequency signal from at least one remote source located outside the building. The system further includes a device configured to receive signals from the plurality of the receivers. The device combines the received signals into a combination signal and converts the combination signal to a digital signal. The digital signal is then provided over a digital communications medium within the building. The system further includes an antenna system configured to receive the digital signal and to retransmit the radio frequency signals from the sources to the devices inside the building by converting the digital signal.
  • [0007]
    Alternative exemplary embodiments relate to other features and combinations of features as may be generally recited in the claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • [0008]
    The disclosure will become more fully understood from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying figures, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements, in which:
  • [0009]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a building having a plurality of devices, according to an exemplary embodiment;
  • [0010]
    FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a system for communicating information from wireless sources to locations within a building, according to an exemplary embodiment;
  • [0011]
    FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a system for communicating information from wireless sources to locations within a building, according to another exemplary embodiment;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of a process for using a system for communicating information from wireless sources to locations within a building, according to an exemplary embodiment; and
  • [0013]
    FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a building automation system (BAS) that may be used with the systems and methods described in the present application, according to an exemplary embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS
  • [0014]
    Before turning to the figures, which illustrate the exemplary embodiments in detail, it should be understood that the application is not limited to the details or methodology set forth in the description or illustrated in the figures. It should also be understood that the terminology is for the purpose of description only and should not be regarded as limiting.
  • [0015]
    Referring generally to the Figures, a system for providing RF signals originating from outside a building and/or inside the building to devices inside the building is shown. The system uses one or more receivers (e.g., receiving antennas and/or related circuitry) to receive RF signals from one or more of sources (e.g., a mobile communications tower, a mobile communications antenna, cellular phone towers, municipal Wi-Fi systems, etc.). The system combines the received RF signals into broadband information (e.g., a broadband analog signal) and digitizes the broadband information to create a digital signal. The digital signal is then provided over a high speed digital communications medium (e.g., an internet protocol (IP) network, an Ethernet network, an optical digital medium, etc.). The digital communications medium can be configured for long cable runs into the building. One or more in-building antennas (e.g., a distributed antenna system) can be dispersed within the building and connected to the digital communications medium. The in-building antennas (and/or one or more digital-to-analog converters connected thereto) convert the digital signal back into analog RF information that can be transmitted as RF signals inside the building.
  • [0016]
    According to some exemplary embodiments, the system provides a broadband RF repeater system that is configured to utilize a digital cable run between the injection point (where RF signals from outside the building are received) and the local antennas of a distributed antenna system.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a building 10. As illustrated, building 10 can include any number of floors, rooms, spaces, zones, other building structures and/or building areas. Building 10 can be any area of any size or type. Due to any number of reasons, RF signals from sources 11, 12, and 13 may experience difficulty reaching electronic devices (e.g., electronic device 22) located within the building. Building 10 is shown to include and/or be located near antennas 14, 15, and 16. Antennas 14, 15, and 16 are configured to receive RF information from sources 11, 12, and 13. A system then provides the RF information from antennas 14, 15, and 16 to antenna 20. Antenna 20 can then retransmit (i.e., rebroadcast, repeat, etc.) the RF information to an electronic device 22 located within the building.
  • [0018]
    Referring still to FIG. 1, sources 11, 12, and 13 may be any source located on the exterior of and remotely from building 10. According to an exemplary embodiment, each of sources 11, 12, and 13 is configured to provide different RF communications. For example, remote source 11 may provide GSM communications (e.g., in the 450 MHz band, 480 MHz band, 850 MHz band, 900 MHz band, etc.) while remote source 12 provides PCS communications (e.g., in the 1900 MHz band) and remote source 13 provides RF communications in the 700 MHz band. The sources can provide communications from the same or different service providers and be spaced at varying distances from the building. The sources can be mobile phone towers, text-messaging towers, paging towers, television towers, municipal WiFi sources, an IEEE 802.11 source, an IEEE 802.15 source, an IEEE 802.16 source, a ZigBee-compatible source, etc.
  • [0019]
    Referring further to FIG. 1, receivers 14, 15, and 16 are shown. As shown, receivers 14, 15, and 16 provide a one-to-one relationship with sources 11, 12, and 13. According to various exemplary embodiments, one antenna may be provided and configured to receive many frequencies concurrently. According to yet other embodiments, multiple antennas may be provided for each remote source. While receivers 14, 15, and 16 are shown as coupled to the top of building 10, receivers 14, 15, and 16 can be provided in any manner anywhere on or near building 10. In some embodiments, receivers 14, 15, and 16 can be within building 10 but near an exterior wall. Receivers 14, 15, and 16 can be or include antennas or antenna systems configured to receive RF information. For example, receivers 14, 15, and 16 can include or be coupled to one or more antenna elements, tuners, power control circuitry, filters, one or more amplifiers, and/or any other circuitry. Considered together, receivers 14, 15, and 16 and associated receiving circuitry can be considered a single receiver configured to receive RF information from multiple sources simultaneously.
  • [0020]
    Referring now to FIG. 2, a schematic diagram of system 200 is shown, according to an exemplary embodiment. System 200 is shown to include the receivers or antennas 14, 15, and 16, an analog combiner 202, and an analog-to-digital converter (i.e., ADC, A/D converter) 204. System 200 is further shown to include a digital communication medium 205 connecting A/D converter 204 to a digital-to-analog converter (i.e., DA, DAC, D/A converter) 206. D/A converter 206 is shown coupled to antenna system 208 which can include one or more local antennas 20, 24, 28. Local antennas 20, 24, 28 can repeat the RF information received from sources 11, 12, and 13 at receivers 14, 15, and 16 to electronic devices 22, 26, and 30 located within the building 10.
  • [0021]
    Referring still to FIG. 2, analog combiner 202 is a circuit configured to combine analog signals of RF information received at antennas 14-16. Combiner 202 can be implemented in a number of ways. For example, analog combiner 202 can be a passive combiner, an active multiplexer, a passive multiplexer, an active diplexer, a passive diplexer, an active triplexer, a passive triplexer, or the like. Combiner 202 can be a multiplexer configured to implement frequency domain multiplexing or any other multiplexing scheme. According to an exemplary embodiment, combiner 202 is designed to combine a variety of RF signals from a variety of sources operating at a variety of frequencies. Combiner 202 is configured to output one or more multiplexed analog signals. According to an exemplary embodiment, the output multiplexed analog signal is a broadband signal that can include a wide band of RF information. For example, the output multiplexed analog signal can include analog information having a center frequency that is separated from a center frequency of the other analog information by at least 500 MHz. According to other various exemplary embodiments the output multiplexed analog signal can include analog information spanning about 1000 MHz. For example, first RF information and second RF information can be received at receivers 14, 15, and 16 and combined using combiner 202. The first RF information can be transmitted at the 850 MHz band and the second RF information can be transmitted at a band spanning 1850-1990 MHz. Wider bands of RF information can be combined using combiner 202, according to various embodiments (e.g., 800 MHz to 2.1 GHz, 400 MHz to 2.6 MHz, 450 MHz to 5 GHz, 400 MHz to 6 GHz, etc.). In other words, the broadband analog information created by combiner 202 spans a wide range of frequencies. It should be appreciated that combiner 202 can include any number of high pass, low pass, bandpass filters, controlled switches, and/or any other electronics components.
  • [0022]
    A/D converter 204 is configured to receive the broadband analog information, including the RF information received at receivers 14-16, and to convert the broadband analog information to digital information. A/D converter 204 can be of any type suitable for converting broadband analog information to digital information. For example, A/D converter 204 can be a linear A/D converter or a non-linear A/D converter. A/D converter 204 can have any sampling frequency suitable for the analog information being converted. It should be appreciated that the sampling frequency should be high relative to the rate of change of the input broadband analog information so that the output of the downstream D/A converter 206 is an accurate reproduction of the original analog signal(s). While some ways of implementing A/D converter 204 may be more desirable than others for this application, any type of A/D converter may be provided. For example, A/D converter 204 might be a direct conversion ADC, a flash ADC, a successive-approximation ADC, a ramp-compare ADC, a delta-encoded ADC, a pipeline ADC, a sigma-delta ADC, or otherwise. A/D converter 204 may include or be one or more integrated circuits, microcontrollers, and/or digital signal processors. According to yet other exemplary embodiments A/D converter 204 can be driven partially by computer software.
  • [0023]
    Digital communications medium 205 can be any digital communications link, bus, cable, and/or network capable of transmitting digital information from A/D converter 204 to D/A converter 206. Digital communications medium 205 can be wired and/or wireless. For example, digital communications medium 205 can be a direct cable (e.g., single cable) run from A/D converter 204 to D/A converter 206. Digital communications medium 205 can also be a cable-based network such as an Ethernet network. The digital communications medium can use a pre-existing network (e.g., a building's IP network) to transfer data or use a dedicated network. Portions of the network can be wireless. For example, part of the digital communications medium can be an IEEE 802.11 communications link. Any wired or wireless digital communications medium can be used to carry the digital information sent from A/D converter 204 to D/A converter 206.
  • [0024]
    D/A converter 206 is configured to receive digital signals (e.g., binary signals) from digital communications medium 205 and to convert the received signals to analog signals (e.g., continuously varying signals) for providing to antenna system 208. D/A converter 206 can be of any type suitable for accurately converting the digital information into a broadband analog signal (or a plurality of narrowband signals) accurately (e.g., so that the analog signal provided to antenna system 208 and the resulting RF signals can recognized by end electronic devices 22, 26, and 30 substantially as the original RF signals from sources 11, 12, and 13 would have been recognized). The resolution and sampling frequency of the D/A converter 206 should be sufficiently high to achieve the accuracy target. While certain implementations of D/A converter 206 may be more desirable than others for this application, any type of D/A converter may be provided. For example, D/A converter 206 might be or include a pulse width modulator, an oversampling DAC, an interpolating DAC, a delta-sigma DAC, a thermometer coded DAC, a segmented DAC, and/or a hybrid DAC (using a combination of techniques or DAC types). D/A converter 206 may include or be one or more integrated circuits, microcontrollers, and/or digital signal processors. According to yet other exemplary embodiments, D/A converter 206 can be driven partially by computer software.
  • [0025]
    According to the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, D/A converter 206 is considered part of in-building antenna system 208 (e.g., distributed antenna system) and is configured to receive the digital signal (from A/D converter 204), to convert the digital signal to analog signals, and to provide the analog signals to antennas 20, 24, and/or 28. Antenna system 208 (using antennas 20, 24, and/or 28) then provides RF information to the electronic devices 22, 26, 30 within the building via RF communications. Antennas 20, 24, and/or 28 may be antennas of any type or size. According to an exemplary embodiment, the antennas are wide band antennas and are able to transmit a large portion (e.g., substantially all) of any broadband signals provided to them. According to yet other exemplary embodiments, D/A converter 206 acts as and/or includes splitter components to provide narrowband analog signals to particular antennas 20, 24, and/or 28. For example, an 850 MHz band mobile phone signal might be provided to antenna 20 while a 2.4 GHz band signal is provided to antenna 24. Antennas 20, 24, and/or 28 can include any configuration of transmitter, tuner, amplifier, and/or other suitable electronics.
  • [0026]
    While electronic devices 22, 26, and 30 are shown as portable electronic devices (e.g., a personal digital assistant, a mobile phone, a text-messaging device, a laptop, etc.), any number or type of in-building electronic devices can be provided to receive communications from antenna system 208.
  • [0027]
    Referring now to FIG. 3, another exemplary system for communicating information from sources to locations within building 300 is shown. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the system is shown to include a single wideband receiving antenna 309 coupled to processing circuit 310. Processing circuit 310 can be housed in a single device or distributed across multiple devices. Antenna 309 may be referred to as building 300's “injection point.” Processing circuit 310 is shown to include a tuner 313, a combiner 311, a receiver 312, a processor 314, memory 315, and a power supply unit (PSU) 316. Processing circuit 310 is further shown to include digital signal processor (DSP) 320 including wideband A/D converter 322. Yet further, processing circuit 310 includes interface 324 for communicably coupling to digital communications medium 305.
  • [0028]
    Radio frequency information transmitted from sources 302, 304, 306, and/or 308 are received by antenna 309. Antenna 309 can include multiple receiving elements, one or more demultiplexers, one or more filters, and the like to facilitate recognized communications from the sources. Tuner 313 can be configured to tune the antenna for reception and/or to convert received RF signals to analog signals that can be processed by other downstream components. Receiver 312 can include any filtering, amplifying, and/or demodulation components configured to further extract and/or process analog signals that can be processed by other downstream components. Combiner 311 can be of the type described with reference to FIG. 2 or otherwise. Processor 315 can be one or more general purpose processors, integrated circuits, and/or specific purpose processors for supervising and/or facilitating the activities of processing circuit 3 10. Processor 315 can work in conjunction with memory 315 to buffer information received at antenna 309. Memory 315 can be used for temporary or buffer storage for any of the components of processing circuit 310. Memory 315 can also be used to store computer code (e.g., compiled code, executable code, script code, etc.) for completing the activities of processing circuit 310 and/or other activities described in the present application. PSU 316 can include any number of power input components, power storage components, power filtering components, rectifying components, inverting components, converting components, and/or any other components that can be configured to provide usable power to processing circuit 310 and/or antenna 309. DSP 320 can be one or more microcontrollers, processors, integrated circuits and/or other electronics components configured to take the analog signals received by antenna 309 (and accompanying components) and to convert the analog signals into a digital stream so that the analog signals can be reconverted/reconstructed into RF signals for transmission to in-building electronic devices. DSP 320 can include and/or utilize one or more A/D converter 322 circuits configured to conduct the digitization of the broadband analog information. Interface 324 can be any jack, terminal, solder point, transmitter, transceiver, modulator, and/or other hardware or software configured to negotiate the transmission of digital information over digital communications medium 305. For example, interface 324 can include clock circuitry that can use a received and/or sent clock signal to synchronize the digital signal with downstream DACs.
  • [0029]
    Referring further to FIG. 3, digital communications medium 305 is configured to provide digital signals transmitted by processing circuit 310 to antenna system 328. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, antenna system 328 includes a plurality of DACs 330-335, one for each antenna 340-345. According to various exemplary embodiments, antennas 340-345 can each transmit a different narrowband portion of the analog signals received by processing circuit 310, multiple antennas can transmit the same narrowband portion of the analog signals received by processing circuit 310, some antennas can receive narrowband portions while others receive wideband portions, etc. It should be appreciated that other hardware and/or software components can be included with and/or coupled to DACs 330-335. For example, an amplifier can be provided between the output of DAC 330 and antenna 340.
  • [0030]
    In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, DACs 330-335 can be configured to extract only those portions of the digital signal that the DAC and/or its corresponding antenna are configured to receive. For example, while the entire broadband analog signal can be converted to digital and communicated on digital communications medium 305, a DAC and corresponding antenna can be configured to extract only certain frequencies from the digital signal. These settings can be made using DIP switches or other user interface components (e.g., a graphical user interface (GUI), a wireless configuration tool, a set of buttons, etc.) local to the DAC and/or antenna or the settings can be adjusted via an attached computer system (e.g., building automation system (BAS) 326). For example, a feature of BAS 326 (and/or of a BAS supervisory controller, a BAS enterprise server, or a BAS application data server) can be to provide a GUI for allowing users of the BAS to configure distributed antenna system 328 and/or processing circuit 3 10. Further, the BAS can receive RF information received at antenna 309 via digital communications medium 305 and process the data for BAS purposes. For example, one of the sources 302-308 could provide weather data (e.g., from the National Weather Service) and this weather data could be provided to the BAS via digital communications link 305. Further, if the BAS includes a suitable DAC and antenna (as shown), wireless BAS devices dispersed around the building can receive and interpret the weather data for use in various control strategies.
  • [0031]
    Referring to FIG. 4, a flow diagram of a process 400 for distributing RF communications from sources to in-building electronic devices is shown, according to an exemplary embodiment. Process 400 is shown to include the step of receiving RF signals from sources (step 402). Receiving RF signals from sources at step 402 can include receiving first radio frequency information from a first communication source and receiving second radio frequency information from a second communication source. The RF signals can be received at one or a plurality of antennas and/or antenna elements. The RF signals are then converted to analog electronic signals and the analog electronic signals can be combined (step 404). Combining analog signals at step 404 can include combining the first radio frequency information and the second radio frequency information to form a broadband analog signal. The combined analog signal (e.g., the broadband analog signal) is then provided to an A/D converter (step 406) for digitizing the broadband analog signal to form a digitized signal (step 408). The digital signal is then distributed to a digital communications medium (e.g., a network, an IP network, a dedicated cable network, etc.) located within the building (step 410). Process 400 is then shown to include receiving the digitized signal at the D/A converter (step 412) and converting the digitized signal to one or more analog signals (step 414). For example, converting the digital signal at step 414 can include converting the digitized signal to the first radio frequency signal (e.g., a signal faithful to the original first RF signal received in step 402) and the second radio frequency signal (e.g., a signal faithful to the original second RF signal received in step 402). The analog signal or signals are then provided to one or more local or distributed antennas located within the building (step 416). For example, step 416 can include providing the first RF information and the second RF information to an antenna system (e.g., a distributed antenna system) configured to transmit the first RF information and the second RF information so that the information is identifiable to and recoverable by electronic devices inside the building. For example, mobile phone audio information provided in the first RF information may be recoverable by a portable electronic device receiving the first RF information retransmitted via the distributed antenna system.
  • [0032]
    With reference to FIGS. 1-4, according to various exemplary embodiments, the systems shown can also be used to communicate signals from electronic devices located inside the building to remote sources and/or sources located in different locations within the building. For example, antenna 20 can receive signals from device 22, and an A/D converter located with D/A converter 206 can convert the signals for communications via the digital communications medium 205. Further, a D/A converter located near A/D converter 204 can convert the digital signals for transmission via antennas 14, 15, 16 to sources 11, 12, 13. Any number of splitters or inverse multiplexers can be provided near antennas 14, 15, 16 for facilitating communications in the direction of sources 11, 12, 13. In other words, the systems and methods disclosed in FIGS. 1-4 can be bidirectional.
  • [0033]
    Referring further to FIGS. 1-4, in some exemplary embodiments a combiner is not utilized prior to the A/D conversion. In other words, individual analog bands can be digitized by one or more D/A converters and the resulting digital signals can be send via the digital communications medium through the building.
  • [0034]
    Referring now to FIG. 5, a diagram of a BAS 500 that can be used with the systems and methods described in FIGS. 1-4 is shown, according to an exemplary embodiment. A BAS is in general, a hardware and/or software system configured to control, monitor, and manage equipment in or around a building or building area. BAS equipment can include a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, a security system, a lighting system, a fire alerting system, an elevator system, another system that is capable of managing building functions, or any combination thereof. The BAS as illustrated and discussed in the present disclosure is an example of a BAS that may be used in conjunction with the systems and methods of the present disclosure; however, other BASs may be used as well. In many cases the systems and methods described in FIGS. 1-4 will be used independently of a BAS.
  • [0035]
    Referring further to FIG. 5, BAS 500 may include one or more supervisory controllers (e.g., a network automation engine (NAE)) 102 connected to a proprietary digital communications network 305 such as an IP network (e.g., Ethernet, WiFi, ZigBee, Bluetooth, etc.). Supervisory controllers 102 may support various field-level communications protocols and/or technology, including various Internet Protocols (IP), BACnet over IP, BACnet Master-Slave/Token-Passing (MS/TP), N2 Bus, N2 over Ethernet, Wireless N2, LonWorks, ZigBee, and any number of other standard or proprietary field-level building management protocols and/or technologies. Supervisory controllers 102 may include varying levels of supervisory features and building management features. The user interface of supervisory controllers 102 may be accessed via terminals 104 (e.g., web browser terminals) capable of communicably connecting to and accessing supervisory controllers 102. For example, FIG. 5 shows multiple terminals 104 that may variously connect to supervisory controllers 102 or other devices of BAS 100. For example, terminals 104 may access connected supervisory controllers 102 via a WAN, an Internet location, a local IP network, or via a connected wireless access point. Terminals 104 may also access connected supervisory controllers 102 to provide information to another source, such as printer 132.
  • [0036]
    Supervisory controllers 102 may be connected to any number of BAS devices. The devices may include, among other devices, devices such as field equipment controllers (FECs) 106 and 110 such as field-level control modules, variable air volume modular assemblies (VMAs) 108, integrator units, room controllers 112 (e.g., a variable air volume (VAV) device or unit), other controllers 114, unitary devices 116, zone controllers 118 (e.g., an air handling unit (AHU) controller), boilers 120, fan coil units 122, heat pump units 124, unit ventilators 126, expansion modules, blowers, temperature sensors, flow transducers, other sensors, motion detectors, actuators, dampers, heaters, air conditioning units, etc. These devices may generally be controlled and/or monitored by supervisory controllers 102. Data generated by or available on the various devices that are directly or indirectly connected to supervisory controllers 102 may be passed, sent, requested, or read by supervisory controllers 102 and/or sent to various other systems or terminals 104 of BAS 100. The data may be stored by supervisory controllers 102, processed by supervisory controllers 102, transformed by supervisory controllers 102, and/or sent to various other systems or terminals 104 of BAS 500. As shown in FIG. 5, the various devices of BAS 500 may be connected to supervisory controllers 102 with a wired connection or with a wireless connection.
  • [0037]
    Still referring to FIG. 5, an enterprise server 130 (e.g., an application and data server (ADS)) is shown, according to an exemplary embodiment. Enterprise server 130 is a server system that includes a database management system (e.g., a relational database management system, Microsoft SQL Server, SQL Server Express, etc.) and server software (e.g., web server software, application server software, virtual machine runtime environments, etc.) that provide access to data and route commands to BAS 500. For example, enterprise server 130 may serve user interface applications. Enterprise server 130 may also serve applications such as Java applications, messaging applications, trending applications, database applications, etc. Enterprise server 130 may store trend data, audit trail messages, alarm messages, event messages, contact information, and/or any number of BAS-related data. Terminals may connect to enterprise server 130 to access the entire BAS 500 and historical data, trend data, alarm data, operator transactions, and any other data associated with BAS 500, its components, or applications. Various local devices such as printer 132 may be attached to components of BAS 500 such as enterprise server 130.
  • [0038]
    As shown in FIG. 5, BAS 500 can include or be coupled to the systems shown and described in FIG. 3 (and/or the other Figures of the present application). For example, digital communications medium 305 can be the same digital communications medium/network used by the BAS. RF information received at antenna 309 can be processed as previously described by processing circuit 310 and provided via digital communications network 305 to D/A converter 330 and antenna 340. According to an exemplary embodiment, antenna 340 can also be used for BAS activities (e.g., wireless sensing, network routing, wireless control applications, etc.).
  • [0039]
    While the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the figures and described herein are presently preferred, it should be understood that the embodiments are offered by way of example only. Accordingly, the present application is not limited to a particular embodiment, but extends to various modifications that nevertheless fall within the scope of the appended claims.
  • [0040]
    The present disclosure contemplates methods, systems and program products on any machine-readable media for accomplishing various operations. The embodiments of the present disclosure may be implemented using existing computer processors, or by a special purpose computer processor for an appropriate system, incorporated for this or another purpose, or by a hardwired system.
  • [0041]
    The construction and arrangement of the systems and methods as shown in the various exemplary embodiments are illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments have been described in detail in this disclosure, many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.). For example, the position of elements may be reversed or otherwise varied and the nature or number of discrete elements or positions may be altered or varied. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present disclosure. The order or sequence of any process or method steps may be varied or re-sequenced according to alternative embodiments. Other substitutions, modifications, changes, and omissions may be made in the design, operating conditions and arrangement of the exemplary embodiments without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.
  • [0042]
    Embodiments within the scope of the present disclosure include program products comprising machine-readable media for carrying or having machine-executable instructions or data structures stored thereon. Such machine-readable media can be any available media that can be accessed by a general purpose or special purpose computer or other machine with a processor. By way of example, such machine-readable media can comprise RAM, ROM, EPROM, EEPROM, CD-ROM or other optical disk storage, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium which can be used to carry or store desired program code in the form of machine-executable instructions or data structures and which can be accessed by a general purpose or special purpose computer or other machine with a processor. When information is transferred or provided over a network or another communications connection (either hardwired, wireless, or a combination of hardwired or wireless) to a machine, the machine properly views the connection as a machine-readable medium. Thus, any such connection is properly termed a machine-readable medium. Combinations of the above are also included within the scope of machine-readable media. Machine-executable instructions include, for example, instructions and data which cause a general purpose computer, special purpose computer, or special purpose processing machines to perform a certain function or group of functions. It should be noted that computer code (e.g., source code, machine-executable instructions, and the like) for the system can be downloaded from a remote source (e.g., a server computer) via a network such as the internet and stored in local memory for use by a processing circuit as described herein.
  • [0043]
    It should be noted that although the figures may show a specific order of method steps, the order of the steps may differ from what is depicted. Also two or more steps may be performed concurrently or with partial concurrence. Such variation will depend on the software and hardware systems chosen and on designer choice. All such variations are within the scope of the disclosure. Likewise, software implementations could be accomplished with standard programming techniques with rule based logic and other logic to accomplish the various connection steps, processing steps, comparison steps and decision steps.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification370/315
International ClassificationH04B7/14
Cooperative ClassificationH04B17/00, H04W24/00, H04W84/18, H04W8/005
European ClassificationH04W84/18
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
19 Nov 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: JOHNSON CONTROLS TECHNOLOGY COMPANY, MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:RUIZ, JOHN I.;MARTOCCI, JERALD P.;REEL/FRAME:021863/0465;SIGNING DATES FROM 20081105 TO 20081110