Tag Archive for: microwave networks; two way radio

EMR on track for strong domestic growth thanks to €11M contract with Iarnród Éireann

Leading utility network and wireless telecommunications specialist, EMR Integrated Solutions today announced it has signed two contracts with Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) for a combined value of €11 million as part of a major upgrade of the organisation’s existing fibre infrastructure and the deployment of a new national transmission network.

Based on technology manufactured by OTN, the new transmission network will support Iarnród Éireann’s operational traffic delivering high-speed, packetised data to level crossings, railway signalling, CCTV, customer kiosks and more.  It will also underpin the new National Train Control Centre, due for launch in early 2024.

The fibre upgrade will boost existing network traffic capacity and allow Iarnród Éireann to run two networks in parallel, supporting migration away from the legacy transmission system without any business disruption.

Both projects will enable more efficient rail traffic management, deliver increased frequency and improve journey times for passengers.

The initiatives are an integral part of Project Ireland 2040, a major investment programme, which will see the role of rail services maximised to meet the needs of communities, the wider economy and environment.

Commenting on the contract award Thomas Quigley, telecommunications technical manager, Signalling, Electrical and Telecommunications Department at Iarnród Éireann said:

“Projects such as the Dart+ programme, designed to extend Dart services in the Greater Dublin Area or the National Train Control Centre simply couldn’t happen without the new transmission network.

“The solution proposed by EMR and its technology partners met and, in some cases, surpassed our requirements.  Their methodology of maintaining the legacy system while building the new network was the most practical and suited our capital investment model best.  Additionally, as a local company, their support is very responsive and commensurate with a piece of critical national infrastructure.”

“Our approach to the project was based on protecting existing investment, providing a cost-effective technological migration to next generation optical & data networks whilst making the transition to the new infrastructure as seamless as possible,” explains Alan Feenan, sales director with EMR Integrated Solutions.

“We supply staged product by building and configuring devices in our technical workshop, ship them to Iarnród Éireann and then assist with commissioning where required.  Iarnród Éireann can draw down up to 1,000 man hours of technical expertise to assist with deployment and this collaborative effort will result in project objectives being realised over time.”

The first step in the upgrade is to increase capacity on the existing fibre network to facilitate the parallel build.  A Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM)* telecoms network will be deployed to ‘sweat’ the existing fibre pairs, delivering better fibre utilisation and negating the need to perform a  large-scale, physical fibre replacement.

The national transmission network, which currently stretches over 2,000 km in length will be upgraded from legacy technology to MPLS-TP**, a packet-based transport protocol designed to speed up and shape network traffic for Infrastructure Providers, supporting IP-based networking services such as video at CCTV at level crossings or customer kiosks, better traffic management at the National Train Control Centre whilst continuing to support the legacy systems that are in service across the railway.

“This project will give us an operational network that’s more reliable and more available,” said Thomas Quigley.  “It’s a massive change in terms of how we’ll be able to manage the rail network into the future, delivering a more positive customer experience.  That’s good news for all of our stakeholders.”


Editors’ Notes
*Dense Wave Division Multiplexing or DWDM is a telecoms technology that combines traffic from multiple fibre pairs into single pairs to increase existing fibre utilisation.

**MPLS-TP is a networking technology that transports data at level 2 switching rather than level 3 routing layers and provides Iarnród Éireann with a much higher quality interface to deliver quality of service (QoS) for applications across the transmission network.

Pic l-r: Jan Hendrickx, regional sales manager, OTN, Alan Feenan, sales director, EMR and Thomas Quigley, telecommunications technical manager, Signalling, Electrical and Telecommunications Department at Iarnród Éireann

EMR Integrated Solutions today announced a deal with multinational fuel corporation, ConocoPhillips to provide mission-critical voice and data communications

ConocoPhillips selects EMR to provide mission-critical voice and data communications for offshore fuel terminal

Leading communications infrastructure provider, EMR Integrated Solutions today announced a deal with multinational fuel corporation, ConocoPhillips to provide mission-critical voice and data communications at its island-based fuel terminal at Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay, Co. Cork.

The system provides a resilient, reliable voice infrastructure via two-way radio for onsite communications and a microwave network for high speed, data communications at the fuel terminal and beyond.

Due to the vast area to be manned and operated by the various staff they required an on site two-way radio communications system.  This radio system provides standard shore and a selection of marine operation channels, serving dual land and shipping operating channels for jetty and vessel crews during fuel unloading operations.

To address the requirement for a fixed point data network link EMR recommended a microwave data link solution. This system consists of two fixed microwave antennas terminated on the main land and terminal building. This solution provided a fixed point communications link with enough bandwidth to support critical data, internet and LAN based network services between the two remote locations.

Commenting on the project, Dave Lee from ConocoPhillips said:

“EMR have been providing our communication system for some years now. The solution that they have provided for extending the office data from the mainland has been so successful that it is now our primary operating system. The Motorola integrated ATEX radio system has helped to resolve all of the operational and staff safety issues that we had with the previous radio system. We are very pleased with the  essential services that EMR provide to ConocoPhillips that are critical for ensuring daily operation of this terminal.”

Up to this point, ConocoPhillips had received all their data and broadband services via an underwater cable system. This solution has proved troublesome in recent years and a modern data communications solution was urgently required as a resilient backup system.

This solution from EMR has been a tremendous success for providing this essential service, so that it has now become their primary system. The existing cable system has been retained as the resilient back up system for any potential loss of service from the microwave system

To meet the criteria required for the voice communication system, EMR recommended the Motorola Professional ATEX radio equipment. The GP380 ATEX model was selected as the operator handsets as this provided dual PMR and Marine channel operation. The large backlight display allows staff to select the correct operating channel for the shore or jetty required communications. A man down version of the radio and a dispatch base radio were also supplied to provide a man down emergency system to the remote site based staff. In event of an emergency an automated emergency call is reverted to the 24 hour manned control room providing immediate emergency assistance.