Radio surveys to improve mobile coverage in rural areas

RSI has just completed a major radio survey project to measure calibrated signal strength at 21 locations across the UK for a mobile phone network operator. The purpose of the project was to make highly accurate measurements of signal levels in the 900MHz and 1900MHz bands in all types of rural terrain and clutter types which can then be fed into the propagation prediction process to improve the accuracy of future coverage predictions in rural areas.

In total, RSI surveyed over 10,500km of road producing over 1.5 million measurement samples. A temporary 25m trailer mounted mast was used at each hill-top location together with a custom-built transmitter unit. The survey vehicle used calibrated receivers and antennas controlled by specially developed software ensuring that all measurements were statistically valid. Great care was taken throughout the planning and execution of the surveys to ensure that the process produced accurate and repeatable data.

RSI Survey Engineers coped with all sorts of challenges along the way including agreeing access for the mast with the landowners and the more practical problems of putting up the mast in a field of livestock as well as narrow muddy lanes and high winds. Overall RSI was able to keep to an extremely tight measurement schedule even completing a few days early.

The benefits of the survey will be seen over the coming years as rural mobile phone coverage continues to improve with fewer ‘not-spots’ in the more remote areas.

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ATDI sign sales agreement with RSI

Radiocommunications consultancy and software company ATDI sign a resellers agreement with RSI. The deal will see the addition of Aries TETRA and Aries LTE to their product range complimenting their radio planning and modelling software products and services.

The partnership will provide a one-stop shop for all radio network operators by providing radio coverage and prediction and measurement software and services to industry.

Hong Kong Airport Third Runway

RSI has completed a radio coverage study as part of the planning for Hong Kong Airport’s proposed new third runway. The purpose was to identify areas where the planned new buildings might block the existing UHF airport communications system and then to propose locations for new base sites to fill in these areas.

At  this early stage in the project, construction has not started therefore it was necessary to create a 3D building model of the new terminal building, control tower and large hangars from the 2D plans that were available. This was then added to detailed terrain and surface model data of the existing airport area to create an overall model that could be used for coverage prediction.

RSI used ICS Telecom planning software to predict the radio coverage across the airport in both existing and new areas to produce detailed images of the signal levels.

Results showed that, as expected,  there would be some significant areas of bad coverage from the existing radio base sites however with just a small number of additional base sites it would be possible to achieve full coverage.

RSI’s study has provided a firm basis for making decisions on the airport radio communications infrastructure and will allow engineers to plan with much greater confidence.

 

 

An Garda Síochána monitor TETRA network performance with Aries survey tools

Ireland’s national police service, An Garda Síochána, has taken delivery of RSI’s Aries TETRA and Aries LTE network performance survey tools for monitoring their TETRA digital radio communications network provided by TETRA Ireland as well as public LTE networks. The tools will be used to identify and investigate any problems or coverage black spots in the TETRA radio network to help ensure that the Garda continue to receive the best possible TETRA service.

The Garda has a total of 14,000 officers, 2,500 vehicles and 700 stations using the TETRA radio network for their mission-critical communications. The TETRA radio network provides 98% land mass coverage across Ireland of both dense urban and remote rural areas regardless of population concentration. It also provides Air-Ground-Air coverage giving fixed and rotary wing aircraft excellent communications and a wide area communications which includes Ireland’s islands and up to 20kms off-shore.

RSI’s Aries TETRA survey tool provides near real-time TETRA network performance information and is intended to be used for the life of the network constantly monitoring and detecting any problems before the users are affected. The tool can support large numbers of monitoring probes spread over the whole country all of which log and send back data 24hrs a day to a central server for analysis.

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RSI completes radio communications study for Al-Nasr Full Field Development project

RSI has just completed a consultancy project to analyse all radio communications to be used for Phase II Full Field Development of the Al-Nasr offshore oil field currently under development about 131km North-West of Abu Dhabi in the Arabian Gulf.

The project was carried out under contract from Atlas Telecom of U.A.E for the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco). The Nasr Super Complex consists of 7 separate platforms for processing, gas treatment, accommodation, utilities, flares and power distribution with interconnecting walkways and will eventually have the capacity to produce 65,000 bpd (barrels per day).

Analysing the radio communications has been a complex and challenging task involving multiple technologies including VHF Marine, VHF Aeronautical, UHF Pager, UHF TETRA and Radar. As well confirming the wide area coverage out to sea the study has analysed the indoor coverage from the radiating cable system on all floor levels of the platforms. An important aspect of the study has been to analyse potential interference issues from receiver blocking and intermodulation from so many communications systems in such a small area as well as determining the risk of inadvertent ignition of flammable gases by radio frequency radiation.

RSI has a track record of radio communications consultancy for other offshore platform projects in the Arabian Gulf including the Upper Zakum 750 project built on 4 artificial islands and the NAP demothballing project shown below:Click for pdf article