A practical example... Communications and coordination
The case study presented in this file considers the replacement of a mobile radio system in an Oil & Gas plant. For privacy and security reasons, the company has expressed a desire not to be named and for typographic purpose, we will name it “Oil Company”.
The modernization of security procedures and the need for a reliable communication system have led “Oil Company"to the realization of a new mobile radio system. After gathering the needs of “Oil Company", and as a result of inspections performed at the refinery, technical specifications were presented, and then provided, for a Motorola MOTOTRBO Capacity Plus system with DP4800EX ATEX terminals and a situation room software, called TRBOnet.
This system fully complies with the requirements, with an architectural solution that transforms the network into a robust application platform that benefits the user.
The change introduced by the new technologies is mainly based on the two following factors:
- the system’s capacity to efficiently and rapidly coordinate and supervise the communications between the various operational units in the field;
- the possibility to effectively use the data transmission features offered by the DMR network;
- an application capable of managing and controlling alarms and communications.
Following the study and the simulations performed by our coverage software, the proposed network is able to provide high performance for both voice communications and data transmission, considering the contemporaneity of the two types of communication.
The system supplied has a structure of 4 DR3000 repeaters, which allow the use of 8 channels in the Trunked Capacity mode plus Full-IP; a TRBOnet operation centre integrated with a system for the dispatch, the localization of the monitoring terminals and the network management. It includes 60 portable radio terminals, 20 fixed stations, 10 vehicular stations and complementary accessories.
The realized Base station with 4 DR300 repeaters has been connected with the operation centre through IP networking using a Cambium Network 200 Mbps wireless hiperLAN system with an AES 128-bit encryption interface combined with a fibre optic network owned by “Oil Company". Everything is synchronized via a GPS receiver.
The core of the network management and of the operators’ coordination and safety has been assigned to the TRBOnet Enterprise Operation Centre system, specially developed for operating conditions with heavy radio traffic on digital and analogue channels. TRBOnet Enterprise proves to be the ideal solution to facilitate the process of users’ migration from a conventional system to a digital DMR, both in terms of functionality and user interface. TRBOnet Enterprise helps manage emergency situations quickly and effectively, allowing for the connection between different locations or departments spread throughout the area through the simple operator configuration. The Operator application views have been studied following the “user friendly” logic and allow for the management of dozens of radio channels and groups in a simple and easy way. In addition to the main feature that allows for multiple ecosystems to communicate and migrate easily from an analogue to a DMR system, TRBOnet Enterprise allows for communications using VoIP technology, that is able to inter-communicate with all the network clients, and, thanks to the TX Passive function, enables the recording of a voice message if the channel is busy, relaying it back as soon as the line is freed.
The Intercom feature allows TRBOnet to communicate between the various clients via a separate network, without occupying the radio channel, recording all conversations as they occur in the system.
All radio devices are equipped with an emergency channel that can be activated manually or by automatic alarms arising from the Man Down, Lone Worker, geofencing or speed control activation, and localized on operating system.
- Gradual expansion of the radio network, developed concurrently with the old one, before the trial switch-off.
- A system used in daily operations in support of the staff.
- A DMR technology-based structure that doubles the channels available on each repeater. The 4FSK digital modulation used by the DMR standard allows for a higher data transmission capacity compared to the old analogue system.
- Improved audio quality thanks to the new noise cancelling radio devices and the DRM system.
- The IP inter-connection between the Operation Centre and the Base Station in order to accelerate peed up and guarantee communications.
- The Capacity Plus solution is up to five times more efficient than traditional analogue systems and up to three times more powerful than the analogue trunked radio-communication systems.
- Intrinsically safe ATEX devices, meaning that they are predisposed no to “cause” explosive sparks originating from use and static electricity.
- Alarms resulting from automatic devices, arising from “violated rules” programmed on the TRBOnet central unit, like over-speeding or encroachment of an area, or from alarms deriving from Motorola DP4801EX radio terminals, like Man Down, or an operator activated alarm.
For this solution we used...