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Case Studies

HS2 Archaeological Case Study

APC Communications Solutions helps LP Archaeology connect the ancient and modern worlds.

In early 2021 – APC were given the opportunity to utilise the latest cutting-edge technology to provide dedicated connectivity to LP Archaeology’s Stoke Mandeville Dig Site. The site was originally a HS2 site when it became a location of interest. This land along with many other locations have led LP Archaeology to some incredibly interesting artifacts!

How do you research, record or report this data when, as far a fibre connectivity is concerned, you are in the middle of nowhere? Our bespoke solution involves finding a way. Designing and building a tailored Wireless Internet solution to connect the unconnected.

The challenge:

Due to the location of the site Wireless Internet was just about the only option for providing the customer with a solid, reliable and FAST Internet connection.

A fibre connection would have been preferable, but it was not feasible in the timescale we had to implement a solution, nor would the customer be based at the dig site long enough to wait for the Openreach infrastructure to be installed.

A 4G alternative was investigated, however would not have been sufficient or reliable enough for the clients’ requirements. This meant we needed to find a way to reach them with Microwave Internet.

We also needed to provide external Wi-Fi coverage in addition to the traditional internal Wi-Fi due to the nature of the site and the team needing Wi-Fi available whilst actually excavating. Meaning the next challenge was for us to find a way to ensure full site-wide Wi-Fi coverage.

Our solution

We installed a temporary solution in the form of a Trailer Mast which utilised a microwave radio link to bring 50Mbps synchronous internet service; meaning the upload capacity was equal to the download capacity, into the site. From this we installed the necessary infrastructure to share this internet access across the site. This was achieved with the installation of multiple Short Range Wireless links and Wi-Fi Access Points.

Once the project was complete and the service was no longer required, we decommissioned the entire set up leaving the site exactly as it was when we first arrived. Meaning this project had close to zero environmental impact.

Below you can see the radio on the trailer mast that allowed the internet connection into the premises – this was aligned with another radio thus sharing the connection to another location on site via Microwave Technology.

connection to another location via Microwave Technology

The result

The microwave radio link resulted in connection speeds comparable to those available in urban communities. Our microwave solution enabled the customer to access a full range of services including email, web browsing, Microsoft Teams or Zoom communication platforms, and even uploading/streaming live footage. Critical for sending images and information out of the site, this connection was synchronous; meaning the upload capacity was equal to the download capacity.

No other technology would be capable of providing consistent, high bandwidth coverage across such a large and remote area within the required timescales. It was for this reason that a wireless solution was chosen and implemented to provide an extremely reliable and above all, fit for purpose connection.

Chris Lynch, Director, comments: “We, at APC, are immensely proud to have played a small part in making this Archaeological Project successful using the latest technology available. Taking a site with absolutely no connectivity and implementing this within a few days really does showcase what is possible at temporary sites.”

“Once our installation works were completed and the dig commenced, we were hopeful that the team would be successful. So, we were delighted to hear that they had uncovered not one, but two roman head and bust statues that would have been hidden under the earth for almost one thousand years! We very much look forward to helping LP archaeology on future projects and seeing what other incredible discoveries we can contribute our services towards finding. ”