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public safety network, special care has been taken to blend the radiocommunications equipment into the environment. At the summit of Snake Pass in

Hiding Airwave in plain sight A

t two radio sites recently installed for the Airwave

Derbyshire, a road sign is in fact a four-metre high mast. With its supporting equipment, genera- tor and diesel tank buried in an underground chamber, the mast is inconspicuous. “T e site is in an area of

protected natural beauty, so we took great care to make the Tetra mast blend in to its surroundings as much as possible”, said Martin Benké, Airwave’s UK network services director. “Feedback from

Snake Pass, Derbyshire, and there’s little to see of this Airwave site. “As a responsible company, Airwave endeavours to ensure that all mast installations are screened and blend in with their environment”, said Martin Benké, UK network services director

local groups, including the Friends of the Peak District, has been really positive. Derbyshire Constabulary has also supported the project since its inception.”

Rocking on Another mast, disguised as a mountain rock, can be found in the Snowdonia National Park on the Llyn Peninsula in Wales. Here Airwave worked with the Snowdonia National Park, the local planning authority and the Countryside Council for Wales to come up with a suitable design. It was agreed that the best solution was to disguise the transmission equipment inside a specially-

designed ‘rock’ made of glass fi bre. “T is approach ensured that

our equipment is camoufl aged to match the surroundings, and does not impact the beauty of the national park”, commented Mr Benké. “We take particular care to work with the relevant authorities on design when operating in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), national parks, and Sites of Special Scientifi c Interest (SSSIs).”

• T e Airwave network, a secure

Tetra system purpose-built to meet the needs of emergency services, now covers 99 per cent of Great Britain’s landmass.

Covert communications: Airwave’s electric rock In Snowdonia, seen also in the lower photograph with its access hatch open

Mobile migration set to accelerate I

t has taken a decade and half for 15 per cent of the world’s licensed mobile radio users to move

from analogue to digital – but the next fi ve years will see this percentage more than double. So predicts IMS Research in a new report on licensed mobile radio around the world. Digital technologies were fi rst applied to mobile

radio in the 1990s, when Tetra, Tetrapol, EDACS and APCO Project 25 were developed. However, their extra cost has confi ned them largely to users such as public safety agencies, the analysts note. But now IMS Research believes the migration to

digital will accelerate. “The introduction of digital technologies such as DMR, dPMR, NXDN and


En route with live video

A test of low-bandwidth video transmission technology began in France last month with video equipment supplied to the Gendarmerie and Police Nationale by the UK developer Vemotion Interactive. For the six-month pilot

project, Vemotion units have been provided to ANPR and video vehicles and other remote mobile units such as helicopters, CCTV vans, rapid deployment units and even local offi cers on the street using mobile phones. The project, focusing on

selected areas across France, is being run by the Service des technologies et des systèmes d’information de la sécurité intérieure, ST(SI)². Its central control room of in Paris will be able to receive live video from any resource on demand. A contingent of the police

and gendarmerie have been evaluating low-bandwidth video solutions over the past year. Recently the Police Nationale completed a national rollout of 500 new-generation ANPR vehicles, and the aim of the investigation was to identify a reliable, economical means of viewing live video from any of these cars and of transmitting it to the ST(SI)² in Paris.

PDT will open up the digital market to agencies that were unwilling to pay the prices required for solutions such as Tetra and P25”, commented Alex Green, one of the report’s authors. “Legislation, particularly in the US, will also drive migration. On 1st January 2013, all VHF/UHF mobile radio licence holders in the US will need to have migrated from 25 kHz channel technologies to 12·5 kHz solutions.” But elsewhere analogue use will persist for some

time, the report concludes. Average replacement interval for a licensed mobile radio terminal is around seven years, and so even if all replacements from now on were digital (which they are not), the analogue user base will not disappear quickly.

Precise view “The live video streaming from the vehicle to the ops room is being tested for operations management in public security”, explained Thierry Robin, a senior Gendarmerie offi cer within the ST(SI)² and project leader. “In moments of crisis, the transmission of video in real time to the ops centre gives a more precise view of the situation to the operations offi cer.” Once the pilot has been

completed, the aim is to roll out the solution to a large number of remote assets, including ANPR and video vehicles and remote operatives across the whole of France.

LAND mobile October 2011

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