The AeroScout System version 3 (but not version 2) product works with Forti WLC and AP400, A822, AP832, FAP-U421EV and FAP-U423EV and AP1000 models to locate and track tagged assets to deliver direct benefits such as process automation and theft prevention. Tags are small, battery-powered devices attached to equipment or personnel. See AeroScout’s web site for more detailed information about the various tags available from AeroScout.
AeroScout tags do not associate to an access point; instead they send out beacon signals in pre-configurable intervals or when an event is triggered (the tag is in motion, a button is pressed, etc.). Messages transmitted by AeroScout tags are received by access points and are forwarded with additional information, such as RSSI values or signal strength measurements, to the AeroScout Engine. The Engine calculates the accurate location of the tag.
Reporting Tags do not affect the normal operation of access points; they keep performing in all of the supported modes (802.11a/b/g communication). AeroScout Tags also do not have an IP address and are unidirectional in the sense that they transmit and do not receive standard WiFi messages.
For APs to process the tag signals and communicate with the AeroScout Engine, the AeroScout Engine-AP Interface protocol must be implemented on access points. In Figure 8 on page 79, the AeroScout solution architecture is shown. The following is the high-level process that occurs in the implementation:
- AeroScout tags send short wireless messages at a regular interval.
- The signal is received by access points that are connected to a Forti WLC running AeroScout software, and the signal is sent to the AeroScout engine along with its measured signal strength.
- The AeroScout engine uses signal strength to determine the coordinates of the reported location, and sends this data to AeroScout MobileView. AeroScout MobileView uses location data to display maps, enable searches, create alerts, manage assets, interface to third parties through an API.
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