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April 05

DAS Dream Builds: Secret Volcano Base

Today’s blog post marks the first entry in a new series we’re rolling out on the Zinwave blog: DAS Dream Builds. Similar to the dream builds you may see elsewhere around the internet, we’re taking a look at some extraordinary DAS applications that would stretch the technology to its limits and showcase some scenarios at the edge that really bring out the best DAS has to offer.

Keep in mind that some of the entries in this series will be more aspirational than others. While we may sometimes discuss real places or applications that could feasibly come to fruition, other times we’ll be looking at projects that haven’t even begun yet, or are even outright fictitious.

Case in point – our inaugural entry will focus on the lair of James Bond villain Ernst Blofeld, specifically the volcanic version as seen in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice.

Put yourself in the position of a megalomaniac super-villain at the head of an organization whose business necessitates locating the headquarters in a rather secluded location. Hollowing out the crater of a volcano and hiding the roof underneath a false-lake might just fit the bill! Of course, there will be several logistical nightmares to solve for, not least of which will be connectivity.

Everyone knows evil henchmen these days have much in common with the average millennial. They crave a sense of responsibility, such as the privilege of carrying around a laser-pistol. They work best when they’re constantly provided with feedback, such as being punished by being fed to a pack of piranhas or promoted to replace the guy who was just fed to a pack of piranhas. And most importantly, they demand cellular connectivity to communicate, both for inter-office and outer-office communications.

In fact, recent studies show that employees like henchmen now prefer cellular communication to a degree that rivals email, traditionally the preferred method. The villain that neglects to provide adequate cellular coverage may find he has difficulty retaining or replacing henchmen after the occasional raid by British commandos.

But cellular connectivity is equally important to the criminal enterprises which have embraced the new industrial era, taking advantage of technologies like manipulation of the internet of things, killer machine learning or artificial counterintelligence. Without a connectivity layer serving as the backbone of these technologies, a villain may just as well fall back to primitive plots like radiating the nation’s gold reserve.

But what to do about connectivity in a secret volcano base? The walls and floor will be made of thick deposits of volcanic material, blocking cellular signals from the outside world and potentially causing magnetic interference. The ceiling will likely be a metallic lattice to support the false lake that covers the entrance, acting as a faraday shield that seals the base from outside communication.

 The solution? A Distributed Antenna System!

 A truly end-to-end DAS solution using high-quality components would begin with an RF base station, mounted somewhere near the top of the volcano, probably disguised as a boulder. The base station would be an essential component of the installation, as it would be necessary to pull cellular signals from above ground down into the lair. From there, the signal would be routed to a central hub within the lair’s IT closet.

Remember, every space in the lair needs to be carved out of rocky earth, so every inch of space savings is essential. And since you’re trying not to attract attention to yourself, the smaller your electric bill, the better.

Next, the signal will need to be distributed to the access points strategically placed in  various chambers of your lair. This is where cabling choice will be particularly important. Using fiber optic cabling is ideal, because the long distances the cable will need to run will be irrelevant, and signal distortion is minimized with fiber. Fiber cabling is also much more flexible, and can be routed along those jagged rocks much more easily than coaxial cable. Since it’s so easy to work with, it will also be less intrusive to install while your other minions progress your grand works. After all, you don’t want the installation process to stall the launch of your high-powered laser satellite.

After your DAS is installed, your volcano headquarters will be the envy of the criminal underworld. You’ll gain notoriety among henchmen recruiting agencies as the best-connected shadow organization around the globe, and you’ll swear you never knew how you got by before your high-tech ploys could depend on near 100 percent connectivity uptime.


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