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Case Studies

Selex

SELEX Systems Integration is a dedicated Solution Architect and Systems Integration business. It is the UK subsidiary of SELEX Sistemi Integrati SpA and represents a 4,500-strong organisation dedicated to delivering innovative, bespoke solutions for the Security, Defence and Transportation markets.

The challenge

SELEX required two separate RF microwave links to operate within a licensed frequency, which will guarantee high carrier grade performance, availability of 99.99%, very low latency (less than 100msec) and have a capacity of 10Mbps. All of which will ensure a seamless and reliable link. SELEX required the IDU (Indoor Unit) to be rack mounted for easy installation into existing racks. The solution needed to be supplied with management software for centralised management of the links along with on-site training for the technical staff.

The links were to allow connectivity back to points of presence for telemetry data from newly deployed radar equipment along with the status information from UPS (battery backup) equipment. The RF microwave links would form part of a new Radar Solution implemented by SELEX for the Isle of Man Airport. One of the links was planned to link directly to the new control tower at the Isle of Man airport. This is where the links would be monitored and managed by the Air Traffic engineers.

Our solution

SELEX had already identified the installation sites for the new radar equipment and how these would integrate into the network.

APC Solutions proposed the Motorola PTP800 solution along with the Motorola Wireless Manager Software to allow for easy centralised monitoring and management of the links. This would deliver and meet with the SELEX specification. The APC planning team desktop profiled and modelled the links using the sophisticated link planning software tools to determine the best frequency and required hardware. The team recommended a combination of 18GHz / 26GHz frequencies, utilising 7MHz channels along with 0.3m Andrews VHLP dishes to deliver the performance and reliability across the link paths.

The Motorola PTP800 Solution would deliver and meet the required specification set out by Selex and was supplied with the 19” rack mounted installation kit for the Indoor Units.

APC was tasked with supplying and installing the proposed solution and faced challenges with logistics due to working outside the UK mainland. APC had several hurdles to overcome when implementing the solution. Limited ferry crossings, due to the time of year, (off season) and access to the sites meant one of the proposed links had to be re-designed and re-located to an alternative location.  The link was originally designed to be installed on one of the communication towers on top of Snaefell Mountain. Snaefell is the highest peak on the Isle of Man with its summit being higher than 2,000 feet. The only access to the communication masts was via a train which only runs during peak season. This coupled with the sites exposure to the adverse weather resulted in the planning team resubmitting OFW85 licence paper work to OFCOM for a change of location. The team encountered a short delay whilst waiting for the amendments to be approved by the governing body.

The APC deployment team rolled out the installation over two short visits. During the first visit, the installation team installed and commissioned the link between Cronk ny Arrey and the control tower.

At the end of October, after receiving approval from OFCOM for the alterations to the license, APC returned to install the second link. The team arrived in rough seas which hampered the planned travel arrangements, leaving APC’s two man team only a few days before they were due to return to the mainland. The team were able to complete the installation and the rigging at both the mast sites at Kimmeragh and Jurby. The deployment involved new steel work and feeder systems for the antenna and management cables to the 0.3m dishes located on the mast.

The result

Selex needed to ensure the wireless network could deliver exceptional service due to the links being integrated with the Radar for the Isle of Man airport. The network would carry critical data between multiple sites. APC needed to ensure the signal would be uninterrupted. When dealing with mission critical requirements, consistency and exact data in an instant are obligatory.

The system installed by APC will ensure consistent connectivity between the sites and delivers and meets all the requirements set out by Selex in their brief and specification documentation.

David Mercer, Selex Project Manager Comments: “APC Solutions has provided Selex with a network which delivers exceptional reliability. We had already planned where the radar needed to be but connecting over such distances was proving difficult. APC ensured the result catered to our needs and delivered an exceptional result.”

Chris Lynch, APC Solutions Group Technical Director comments: “The Selex installation proved a challenge. The logistics of the locations, lack of access and poor weather all aided in the project being one of the hardest the team have had to deploy. Having said that, the project was delivered on time, to budget and fulfilled all elements of the brief.”