The WirelessHART Communication specification (HART 7.1) has been submitted to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for approval as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS). Released by the HART Communication Foundation (HCF) in September 2007, WirelessHART is the first open and interoperable wireless communication standard designed to address the critical needs of the process industry for reliable, robust and secure wireless communication in the real world field environment of industrial plant applications.
Submitting WirelessHART as an IEC PAS is a landmark for the process automation industry. We will have the first international standard for wireless communication technology which is a long-demanded goal of end users, says HCF Executive Director Ron Helson.
The IEC has initiated a worldwide ballot to approve the PAS after which the WirelessHART specification will begin the process to become an amendment to IEC 61158, the fieldbus standard. (HART Communication is already included in the application layer of this document.) The PAS ballot will last for two months; closing on 19 September 2008.
The WirelessHART standard provides a robust wireless protocol for the full range of process measurement, control, and asset management applications. Based on the proven and familiar HART protocol, it enables users to quickly and easily gain the benefits of wireless technology while maintaining compatibility with existing devices, tools and systems.
WirelessHART technology provides the same experience that end users know and expect from HART-enabled products, protecting the global installed base of 26+ million HART devices, says Helson. WirelessHART is easy to use, easy to deploy, and fully backward compatible with existing instrumentation and host systems, preserving the investment in HART-enabled devices, tools, training, applications and work procedures used today.
WirelessHART builds on established and field-proven international standards including the HART Communication Protocol (IEC 61158), EDDL (IEC 61804-3), IEEE 802.15.4 radio and frequency hopping, spread spectrum and mesh networking technologies. The new technology addresses the issues users face in the process plant environment and seamlessly integrates existing devices into HART-enabled systems.