Wi-Fi Heat Map Simulation with the Map Function of Omada SDN Controller
Ⅰ. Experiment Scenario
A Wi-Fi heat map is a map of wireless signal coverage and strength. Typically, a Wi-Fi heat map shows a real map of a project overlaid by a graphical representation of a wireless signal. Wi-Fi heat maps can help find dead spots and make adjustments to achieve ideal coverage. The figure below is a Wi-Fi heat map generated by Omada SDN Controller, the closer the color is to red, the stronger the signal strength, and the closer it is to purple, the weaker the signal strength.
During the design phase of a project, wireless heat map simulation can help you choose a better deployment plan, including AP models, deployment number and location, transmit power and wireless channels, etc. For example, if the number of APs is too small, the wireless coverage may not be good enough to meet the demand; increasing the number can improve the coverage, but not the more the better, too many APs may instead fail to provide better wireless quality because of strong wireless interference.
During the design and installation phase of the project, you can perform a small-scale test deployment according to the design, and generate a wireless heat map, so that you can know the difference between simulation and reality, then adjust as appropriate. Then in the project acceptance phase, you can get a wireless heat map of the whole project through field testing and perform wireless optimization as appropriate to get better results.
Omada SDN Controller has a built-in Heat Map function, you can upload the project drawings, edit obstacles, place EAPs and perform heatmap simulations. You can place virtual EAPs for project design. You can also place real EAPs managed by the controller, the heat maps will be generated based on the operation status of EAPs, which can help monitor the wireless coverage.
Ⅱ. Working Principle
1. Define Layout: determine the project layout first and upload the drawings. There are indoor and outdoor layouts and the following four indoor layouts are available:
- Open-Plan Space (Office, Factory, etc.)
- Large Open Space (Stadium, Theatre, etc.)
- Individual Room (Living Room, Hotel Suite, etc.)
- Transit Passageways (Corridor, Hallway, etc.)
Choose a layout according to the actual project situation. Different layouts will affect the formulas used in the heatmap simulation process and will influence the simulation results.
ou can upload images as drawings, common formats such as .jpg, .png, and .gif are supported, and you can upload CAD files in .dxf format.
2. Set the map scale according to the drawing.
3. Draw walls, doors, and other obstacles, and then place APs.
4. Click the “Simulate” button, wait a moment, you will see the Wi-Fi heat map, and you can adjust the AP installations.
5. Draw an area to view the signal coverage, and click Export for the Network Coverage Report.
- Master how to draw obstacles from drawings.
- Master how to place the EAPs and adjust the installation parameter.
- Master how to optimize the wireless coverage by wireless heat maps.
Ⅳ. Experiment Equipment
- Omada SDN Controller
Ⅴ. Configuration Steps
This experiment will introduce how to design a wireless network solution for an office using the built-in wireless heat map function of Omada SDN Controller.
1. Add a new Map.
1) Run and log into the Omada SDN Controller, then go to Map --> Heat Map.
Add a map.
Edit maps in the pop-up window.
Select a map from the drop-down list to place the devices.
View the device list.
Adjust the opacity of the map
Select the icon size of the EAPs displayed on the map.
Fit the map to the web page.
Zoom in or out of the map.
Set the map scale. Draw a line on the map by clicking and dragging, and then define the distance of the line.
Set the default height of the added devices and the information displayed on the map.
Export the network coverage report.
Use the selection tool to select the elements including walls and devices on the map, or exit some other tools.
Use the measurement tool. Draw a line on the map to measure the actual distance according to the map scale.
Edit the elements including walls and devices on the map.
After editing the elements on the map, click to generate a new heat map.
2) Click Add to add a new map, define the layout and upload an image. Here we upload the image of an office, so we select Indoors and Open-Plan Space (Office, Factory, etc.) for layout.
3) Define the map scale. Draw a line on the map by clicking and dragging, and then define the distance of the line. Based on the drawing, we choose one side of the office to determine the scale, and set the distance to 30 meters, then click Confirm.
You can use the mouse wheel to zoom in or out of the drawings and the left button to move the drawing. You can also redefine the map scale.
2.Edit the Map.
Click the Edit button to enter the editing mode. Two buttons in the upper left corner of the page are used to place the EAPs and draw the obstacles, respectively. Usually the obstacles are drawn first then the EAPs are placed.
1) Draw the obstacles. According to the drawings, draw the main obstacles, such as walls, doors, glass, columns, etc.
There are some built-in walls and data on the attenuation of the wireless signals. You can click Edit to modify the attenuation data of some obstacles and you can also create new obstacles. For example, although the materials of different walls are concrete, the thickness, material, and other characteristics must be different, if possible, you can conduct actual tests to determine the actual attenuation of certain walls and other obstacles, which can improve the accuracy of the heat map simulation.
Click the button to select a type of wall and use the left mouse button to draw lines on the map, click the right mouse button to complete a line, and then you can draw new lines. Click the button to stop drawing, you can adjust the map and continue to draw the obstacles.
2) Place the EAPs.
Click the button, select an AP model from the list of Adopted Devices or Virtual Devices, and drag it onto the drawing.
Place EAPs according to the drawing and project requirements. After placing one EAP, click on it and adjust its installation parameters, note the installation height and angle, especially for the wall plate and outdoor EAPs, click Apply to save the settings.
For example, according to the actual installation, the following AP installation height should be adjusted to 1 meter and the installation angle should be 0°.
You can also adjust the transmission power and wireless channel to get better wireless coverage while minimizing wireless interference.
Click Done to exit the editing mode.
Click the Simulate button to start the calculation, and you will see the wireless heat map when it is finished.
Select the wireless channel and re-simulate it, you will see the wireless coverage of different wireless channels. Adjust the receiver sensitivity according to the wireless coverage required by the project, then the places that are not filled with “wireless signal” are the places where the wireless coverage does not meet the requirements, you can add or remove EAPs or adjust EAP parameters according to the project requirements.
As shown in the above figure, the top left and bottom right parts are the areas that do not meet the requirements. The project has no requirement for wireless signal coverage in the upper left corner, but there is a requirement for the lower right corner, so we can add a new AP in the lower right corner. In addition, considering the high density of wireless clients in the middle area, we can deploy HD EAPs, which have higher band capacity, or increase the number of EAPs but reduce the transmit power to reduce wireless interference.
4. Network Coverage Report.
Click the button to outline the area you want to evaluate the wireless coverage, and click the right mouse to complete the outline.
Click “Start Calculation” to view the signal coverage.
Switch each wireless band for heat map simulations, and then click the button to generate the report, which contains a list of EAPs, the layout, and the heat maps of each wireless band.
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