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Another aspect of inspection is what can be learned via other modalities such as X-rays, even if the acquired images often ressemble visible light images. Similarly, it is relevant to ask what additional information color can provide that is useful for inspection. Sections 22.10 and 22.11 aim to give answers to these questions.

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Another aspect of inspection is what can be learned via other modalities such as X-rays, even if the acquired images often ressemble visible light images. Similarly, it is relevant to ask what additional information color can provide that is useful for inspection. Sections 22.10 and 22.11 aim to give answers to these questions.

Regardless of the agility scheme in use, RF agility is equally a function of RF spectrum usage and channel-size. Depending on RF spectrum usage, you may have more or less room for this agility. For example, lower-frequency implementations will have less room then higher frequencies due to frequency allocation constraints. Specifically, 2.4-GHz systems have approximately 100 MHz of available spectrum while 900-MHz systems have approximately 26 MHz of room.

Channel size is also a major factor in determining RF agility. The smaller the channel size and the larger the room for agility in the spectrum, the greater the RF agility and ability to avoid interference and fit between interferers. For example, 802.15.4-based systems are 5-MHz wide and contain only 16 available channels while 1-MHz-wide systems typically have 80 available channels, and therefore more available places to move to and avoid interference.

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Reliability, therefore, is the qualitative sum of link budget plus RF agility with respect to RF spectrum usage. The greater the link budget and the greater the RF agility, the more reliable a given wireless system will be across the same RF spectrum. In addition, despite a technology having superior placement for a given environment in the RF spectrum, such as a lower frequency for a water-pipe filled factory, that same technology will still pale in comparison to higher-frequency technologies that maximize link budget and RF agility.

Simplicity Ideally, wireless systems in the industrial space should perform and be as simple to implement as their wired counterparts. Two perspectives that need to be addressed in terms of simplicity are the engineer's perspective – those building the end product that goes into the industrial space to replace those wired counterparts – and the consumer's perspective – those placing and using these products.

From the engineer's perspective, simplicity is defined as the ease with which a wireless system can be designed, developed and implemented. Simplicity, in this regard, is the qualitatively measured function of the ease-of-use of the components involved, the tools available to aid design and development, as well as the availability of existing certified components to eliminate or minimize the daunting task of a local wireless certification process. Wireless systems that best enable this ease-of-use are flexible and programmable technologies that allow engineers to best tailor implementations for the applications they will address.

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Flexibility and programmability, however, typically increase complexity; therefore, the development environment and tools, including hardware and software, must be easy to use and understand. Such tools include development and evaluation kits to fully evaluate and understand the hardware and software. Ideally, engineers have access to an entire wireless protocol stack with sample application libraries, documentation and example code to minimize the learning curve.

From the consumer's perspective, simplicity is measured in terms of placement and activation of wireless devices in their intended environment, as well as support in terms of its effects on the business processes involved. For example, technologies that minimize the commissioning impacts of wireless technologies may be directly related to the reliability and range capabilities of a system. A system without these impacts will ultimately require site-surveys to determine optimal placement and routing of communications.

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In addition, technologies that can conform to business processes enable the consumer to quickly integrate the benefits of the technology into their day-to-day operations. These technologies include programmable and flexible interfaces for monitoring and remote control of wireless actuators and their supporting logic for automated response systems. These are commonly referred to as dashboards or views into the wireless network that can easily integrate into existing reporting and analysis processes.

Depending on the perspective, a wireless system's simplicity must ultimately become as simple to implement, manage, and use as its wired counterparts. Qualitatively evaluating systems based on both of these perspectives can ease this understanding and enable this goal.

Still, Zap could fill a certain niche in a growing sector. For example, President-elect Obama vows to put 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015.

And Zap wants a piece of the action. To do so, the company has shored up its bottom line. In May, Eqbal Al Yousuf, president of Dubai's Al Yousuf Group, was named chairman of Zap. Chairman Emeritus and co-founder Gary Starr will continue his role with Zap and will remain on its board.

Last year, the Al Yousuf Group purchased $5 million worth of Zap's shares. In August, Al Yousuf Group, a Dubai-based conglomerate and investor, provided a $10 million financing arrangement to provide working capital to Zap.

Zap reported revenue of $3.1 million for the third quarter of 2008, compared to $2 million in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of 52 percent. It reported a net loss of $2.5 million for the third quarter of 2008, a $1.2 million improvement to the loss of $3.7 million reported in the third quarter of 2007.

In Q3, Zap shipped 240 Xebra vehicles, as compared to 80 in the September quarter of 2007. The company shipped 130 vehicles in the second quarter ended June 30, 2008, compared to 80 vehicles in the June quarter of 2007.

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