Case Study

James Hutton Institute

Private 5G Network with Starlink Backhaul

James Hutton Institute, Dundee, Scotland

The James Hutton Institute, positioned at the forefront of agriscience research in Scotland, embarked on a mission to elevate its research capabilities. With operations across multiple sites, including Aberdeen and Dundee, the institute employs over 500 scientists and staff, solidifying its status as a key research provider for the Scottish Government.

Emphasizing environmental, crop, and food science, the institute is dedicated to conducting excellent science, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and delivering impactful outcomes for society. To overcome challenges in large-scale agricultural environments, the institute sought to upgrade its network infrastructure, setting the stage for transformative scientific pursuits.

Attribution: James Hutton Institute

Private 5G with Starlink Backhaul

up to 350Mbps download speeds
5g wireless signal coverage
0 km
satellites in orbit as of jan 2024
4000 +

The Challenge

The primary challenge faced by the James Hutton Institute revolved around the optimisation of research activities, particularly in large-scale agricultural settings. The existing network infrastructure posed limitations, hindering seamless communication critical for tasks like irrigation scheduling.

In addressing this challenge, the institute aimed to create an environment where connectivity facilitates the efficient exchange of data, fostering innovation in agriscience research.

The deployment of a Private 5G network at the James Hutton Institute is a strategic leap towards advancing research capabilities and embracing cutting-edge technology. The collaboration between The Clarus Networks Group, Celona, and Starlink exemplifies the synergy of expertise, technology, and vision in shaping a future where connectivity is an enabler of transformative research endeavours. The James Hutton Institute stands at the forefront of innovation, poised to make significant contributions to the advancement of agriscience and beyond. The robust network infrastructure, coupled with Starlink’s satellite-based internet connectivity, lays the foundation for a new era in research excellence, positioning the institute for impactful outcomes and continued success.

The Solution

The innovative solution proposed by The Clarus Networks Group involved the deployment of a private 5G network powered by Celona equipment, coupled with a Starlink backhaul.

This comprehensive solution comprised key components, including Celona AP for 5G radio distribution, Celona Antenna for signal distribution, Celona Edge for local data processing, and Enterprise Network Appliance for routing. The multi-network industrial routers played a pivotal role in facilitating end-device connectivity.

With an emphasis on management and security, the Unifi Portal, Celona Orchestrator, and Starlink Dashboard were integrated into the solution. Security measures, including Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDS/IPS) and secure authentication with Celona SIM cards, ensured a robust and protected network infrastructure.

The decision to incorporate Starlink as the backhaul solution was driven by the unique geographical challenges faced by the James Hutton Institute, located in a rural area. Starlink, with its satellite-based internet connectivity, provides a reliable and high-speed backhaul option, overcoming the limitations posed by traditional terrestrial infrastructure in remote regions. This choice ensures that the James Hutton Institute has access to robust connectivity, essential for its research endeavours, irrespective of its rural setting.

The Results

Broad Coverage:

The successful deployment resulted in a 5G signal covering the majority of the institute’s premises, ensuring seamless and consistent connectivity. This achievement not only met but exceeded coverage objectives, providing a foundation for seamless data exchange.

Impressive Real-world Performance Metrics: 

Rigorous Speed and Ping tests conducted at deployment sites revealed impressive data transfer rates and network responsiveness. This demonstrated the network’s capacity to handle sizable research data and support real-time applications critical to scientific research.

Ready for Advanced Implementation: 

With the successful setup and performance of the network, the institute is poised for the next phase. This includes the integration of research equipment via multi-network industrial routers and the planned implementation of Quality of Service (QoS) measures, further optimizing the network’s efficiency.

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