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Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology and PPC Corp. have made a discovery that could save millions of dollars for cellular telecommunications providers by better finding damaged cables.
The researchers developed the Smart Connector, a sensor installed in the connecting units of coaxial cables that can provide information about equipment damage and pinpoint the exact location through self-diagnosing technologies. The sensor is one of the most advanced in the field today, RIT officials said.
“This technology is really exciting, and the impact it could have on the industry is only just becoming apparent,” said Noah Montena, principal engineer at the Syracuse-based PPC. “Up until now, connector and equipment failures could be detected only after tower capacity had been diminished, and only pinpointed on-site with the system shut down.”
For RIT, the discovery is representative of a growing number of projects with the private sector. The university and PPC Corp. signed a licensing agreement in June, and both parties are in the process of final testing and technology transfer, said Robert Bowman, professor of electrical and microelectronic engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
“It’s one thing to conduct laboratory testing and demonstrate viability; it’s another thing to get it into a product,” Bowman said. “PPC worked very closely with us during this research effort, and we’ll work with them as they try to integrate this technology into their product line.”
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