Sepura TETRA Terminals in Extreme Environments: Snow and Ice

27th August 2019

TETRA has been widely adopted by several commercial and utility companies across Europe and further afield, including in countries and regions famed for their arctic weather conditions and long harsh winters.

With operational temperatures dropping to between -20°C and -30°C in many of the operational environments, Sepura’s rugged TETRA terminals can cope with the challenge of snow, ice, water and freezing temperatures. In particular, Sepura’s SC20 and STP9000 hand-portable terminals are often favoured for use in such environments for their IP67 environmental protection rating that ensures they continue to work after submersion in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes.

SkiStar Åre:

Growth can cause a communications solution to quickly become insufficient and the requirement to implement a new one that is safe, reliable and scalable is paramount. SkiStar Åre were busy preparing for the Alpine Ski World Cup which would increase the need for a flexible system that can handle the capacity a large-scale event requires whilst remaining robust with uncompromised use in the dropping temperatures.

Safety and resource management was paramount and so a new dispatcher system was also implemented, enabling operator staff to easily monitor and communicate the location and status of users.

The new system saw four TETRA base stations strategically placed across 4 Swedish regions, alongside the deployment of 170 Sepura SC20 hand-portable radios, praised by a control room user for sound quality and the ability to make individual calls. The terminals offer intuitive operation and outstanding RF performance and are Bluetooth and applications ready to match their safety and resource management requirements. Read the full story here.

Managing Safety & Operations at Ski Resorts:

Tignes:

As expected, daily challenges at ski resorts are often due to weather and environmental elements that have the potential to compromise the functionality and audio clarity of radios used as part of their critical communications solution. But another obstacle to consider is coverage across vast sites, especially if they are split, like the slopes of Tignes.

The Société des Téléphériques de la Grande Motte (STGM) in the Rhône-Alpes region, France, replaced their existing analogue system with a TETRA communications solution comprised of mobile terminals and rugged Sepura hand-portable radios featuring the Man-Down safety feature from Sepura partner Sysoco.

Sepura’s SRG3900 vehicle-mounted gateway terminals allow STGM to extend coverage into mountainous areas, particularly those affected by ‘black spots’ and climate conditions which are not covered by the infrastructure. Interoperability between TETRA and analogue networks is allowed, permitting cross-network communication to maintain links with analogue users across the two sites. Read the full story here.

Idre Fjall:

Idre Fjall is a world-renowned, year-round ski resort that offers over 40 ski runs and 82km of cross-country trails to the 600,000 plus annual visitors. Alongside the challenges posed by weather conditions, environmental factors and keeping visitors safe around the clock, the resort also hosts international events and their critical communications systems therefore must not falter on reliability, usability, audio or connectivity even in prolonged usage.

With the Ski-Cross World Cup and Speed Ski World Championship under their belt, it was imperative to boost communications to optimise safety for staff and visitors.

In order to achieve this, Sepura and partner Swedish Radio Supply established a solution consisting of a trusted TETRA infrastructure and a fleet of STP9000 hand-portable radios. The rugged terminals offer the resort exceptional battery life, IP67 environmental protection rating, lone-worker and Man-Down safety features and a minimum operational temperature of -30°C. They were found by users to be intuitive, easy to use and unbeaten for audio quality and overall reliability. Read the full story here.

Upholding Clear, Reliable Communications in the Mountains

Sira-Kvina:

Sire-Kvina, one of Norway’s largest power companies operates seven hydro-electric power plants using watercourses in the South-west Norwegian mountains. When implementing a new TETRA communications system, Sire-Kvina chose Sepura STP9000 hand-portable radios for their powerful and robust ability to keep connectivity across their 15-site network, continuing to operate in Norway’s typically harsh winters.

The company has a strict 90% uptime objective for production facilities and must by law be able to maintain internal communication for 72 hours even if regular supplies are cut out, they therefore must ensure that their communication system is reliable and provides a lifeline for their teams in a range of demanding environments from mountain tops to tunnels deep inside the mountains.

Company employees are now successfully equipped with high-performance radios that offer a front-facing loudspeaker for clear audio alongside large colour display screens; ideal for viewing images, maps and text in Sire-Kvina’s demanding operational conditions. Read the full story here.

Sogn and Fjordane Energy Group:

Like Sira-Kvina, Sogn and Fjordane Energy (SFE) have a distribution network that extends over high mountains and deep valleys operating 26 power stations. Previously using analogue systems for decades, the energy provider sought an alternative robust communication solution to successfully take them through daily routine work as well as emergency situations previously experienced.

Implementing TETRA radios, utilising Norway’s Nodnett TETRA network was a natural progression for Sogn and Fjordane due to the applications offered with a digital connection, which the users so desperately needed. SFE have since been able to increase restored network capacity and availability which has in turn increased security for the company, with Kåre Teigland, Head of Information and Communication Technology at SFE endorsing the coverage as “very reliable”, so much so that they would not expect any issues during a storm. Read the full story here.

Norwegian Road Administration (NRA):

The Norwegian Road Administration (NRA), part of the Directorate of Public Roads, is responsible for maintenance, expansion and control of Norway’s public roads and relies on a robust communication solution to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently.

The NRA previously relied on analogue communications which worked well overall but suffered in areas with limited signal range, mostly affecting areas such as tunnels, in which there was no coverage at all. Having upgraded their system and terminals through Sepura partner Wireless Communications AS, Sepura’s STP9000 hand-portable radios now provide complete coverage, even across the mountainous regions and extending to those all-important blackspot tunnels.

The sophisticated communications system is the first of its kind for the administration and with a radio installed in each car, the Haukeliester traffic centre now has direct contact with all the operating vehicles. Access to a co-channel used by emergency services has also been obtained, allowing communication between organisations in case of an emergency. Read the full story here.

From the challenges of operating in extreme environments and sub-zero temperatures to coverage and capacity, Sepura’s hand-portable and mobile TETRA terminals continue to prove themselves as a rugged and reliable communications solution. Advanced safety features, advanced positioning capability and clear audio are intrinsic to every radio, meeting a range of business and mission critical user needs.

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