With some 29.1 million people per year using both the international and domestic terminals, Sydney Airport Corporation Limited (SACL) is responsible for managing Australia's busiest airport.
Radio forms an integral part of these operations by connecting a vast range of personnel within the organization, from SACL airfield operations and security personnel, to baggage handlers and coordination staff.
SACL needed to upgrade their radio network to improve their coverage, system redundancy and compatibility with other state and federal agencies. SACL needed a system that was cost-effective and could handle the predicted growth of Sydney Airport over the next 20 years.
Tait dealer, Mastercom developed a dual site P25 solution using six Tait P25 TB9100 digital base stations and utilizing the advanced software features available in the TB9100.
The new system is designed to provide maximum coverage and emergency backup communications for both the international and domestic airports. The two sites are designed with a significant coverage overlap, so if one site is disabled, the second site can continue to provide the required radio coverage and meet their emergency backup requirements. It was critical for SACL that the two sites were able to operate autonomously in order to provide a seamless service for their users in the event of a system failure.
The resulting TB9100 network repeats both analog and digital signals providing seamless operation with the existing SACL analog equipment and coverage over the entire site.
As well as compatibility with analog, P25 digital radio is an open standard supported by many manufacturers and public safety agencies, allowing SACL the option of communicating with other emergency services should there be a need for it in the future.
SACL invested heavily in an extensive fibre optic network around the airport. This was utilized to link the sites together using VoIP built into the TB9100 base stations. Base voting has also been implemented to maximize voice clarity (the TB9100 P25 digital base station has a built-in voter as standard). When a call is made, the bases operating on that channel, at either site, receive and compare the signal. The base with the best quality signal then instantly retransmits across the whole network.
SACL's new dual site P25 digital solution provides the organization with improved coverage, improved voice clarity, emergency backup communications and system flexibility for future growth. In the first month of operation, the system logged some 40,000 calls, rapidly proving its worth.
Other case studies
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The most important elements of a communications system for fire fighters are reliability, clarity, good coverage, appropriate call services, privacy, interoperability and data. This paper describes P25 communications technology and its benefits for Fire Fighters, as well as providing a comparison with other open digital radio standards—DMR and dPMR.