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RFI expands its mining portfolio with the acquisition of Digital Drift

RFI Technology Solutions is pleased to announce it has acquired the assets of Digital Drift™. Digital Drift™ provides power distribution and high-speed network connectivity to devices in challenging industrial environments, including: underground mines, tunnels, processing plants and agriculture.

The acquisition includes the product designs, intellectual property, manufacturing rights and key staff.

The acquisition of Digital Drift complements our fibre optic and wireless offerings, enabling RFI to provide complete data network solutions to underground mines – from the surface to the working face” Scott Magee, CEO of RFI commented.“This is an exciting technology solution with huge potential and advantages for our customers, particularly in the mining sector.”

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Digital Drift enables underground loaders to be operated from the surface at a nickel mine in Western Australia

An underground nickel mine in Western Australia has deployed the Digital Drift System to remotely operate their underground loaders from the surface. The loaders are fitted with RCT’s ControlMaster Guidance System and work across ore drives on multiple levels. Digital Drift connected eleven levels to the surface at a fraction of the cost of the fibre alternative, and was installed by the mine’s own tradespeople.

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Sydney Harbour Tunnel rebroadcast major system upgrade

Overview

When Trantek MST needed a reliable rebroadcast system for the Sydney Harbour Tunnel intelligent transport system upgrade project, they chose RFI.

Project:

Upgrade AM/FM radio rebroadcast system, providing audio break-in capabilities, competiablity for the future DAB+ digital radio upgrade, and performance monitoring capability in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, NSW.

Customer:

Trantek MST and the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.

RFI Role:

Design and installation of the upgrade to the intelligent transport system.

Job  Overview:

Trantek MST selected RFI to provide the rebroadcast system, based on RFI’s experience and expertise with this technology. RFI delivered a flexible and feature-rich rebroadcast system, utilising a comprehensive suite of their products and services.

“We chose RFI because of their proven technical, manufacturing, installation and integration capabilities. RFI has proven extremely easy to work with, quickly understanding the technical requirements of Trantek MST’s fault resilient architecture and integrating and where necessary manufacturing custom components to achieve a truly satisfying solution.” said Trantek MST Managing Director, Mr Lionel Ascone.

“They have provided the Sydney Harbour Tunnel with an upgraded rebroadcast system that has met the customer’s operational requirements, whilst also providing a feature-rich capability that allowed us to incorporate it into our fault-resilient intelligent transport control system.”

“RFI performed well within the often challenging multi-disciplined environment that exists in a major project, and has delivered their system to the project on-budget – assisting Trantek MST to deliver another successful project to its customers.”

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Key Components

  • Rebroadcast AM Repeaters
  • Rebroadcast FM Repeaters
  • Broadband multi-carrier power amplifiers
  • AM/FM Cross band Couplers
  • The rebroadcast system provides compatibility for the future addition of the rebroadcast of DAB+ digital radio.
  • A custom manufactured RF Change-Over Unit was incorporated within the design, enabling switching between the redundant subsystems, either manually or automatically controlled by Trantek MST’s fault-resilient ITS system.
  • Performance monitoring of the radiating cables at both ends of both tunnels -implemented to continuously monitor the performance of the system and contribute to the switching control of the system redundancy in the event of a system fault condition.
  • Fibre optic cable is used to link the equipment items between the various installation locations.

Trantek MST was tasked with the design and installation of an upgrade to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel intelligent transport system in NSW, Australia. The Sydney Harbour Tunnel is one of Sydney’s primary transport routes, with busy vehicular traffic using the tunnel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The AM/FM radio rebroadcast system is a relatively minor, but vital, component of the overall total intelligent transport system not only to maintain the rebroadcast of AM and FM radio stations within the Tunnel, but also to ensure that vital incident management capabilities can be maintained In the event off a sub-system failure.

An audio break-in capability allows pre-recorded or live audio announcements to be inserted into the AM and FM rebroadcasts to notify drivers of incident information via their car radios.

Trantek MST sought a partner who could design, install and commission the rebroadcast system upgrade as a turnkey sub-contractor.

As well as meeting the stringent operational requirements, Trantek MST needed a partner with the experience to handle the challenges of working on one of Sydney’s busiest roadways.
Trantek MST selected RFI to provide the rebroadcast system, based on RFI’s experience and expertise with this technology. RFI delivered a flexible and feature-rich rebroadcast system, utilising a comprehensive suite of their products and services, including:

  • RF surveys
  • System design
  • Equipment manufacture
  • Integration
  • Factory acceptance testing (FAT)
  • Installation
  • Commissioning
  • Site acceptance testing (SAT)
  • Coverage testing
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Project Management

RFI believes in flexible, responsive and transparent relationships with clients. So during this project, RFI’s project manager actively liaised with Trantek MST and Sydney Harbour Tunnel personnel. Working closely with Trantek MST and their customer allowed several unexpected issues that arose during the project to be addressed and resolved with minimal impact to the customer’s operations and tunnel motorists.

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Sydney Hills M2 tunnel upgrade

Overview

RFI provided a communications solution to deliver Break-In Emergency Services radio coverage and AM/FM rebroadcast (RRB) system as part of the $550 million Sydney Hills M2 tunnel upgrade.

An audio break-in capability allows pre-recorded or live audio announcements to be inserted into the AM and FM rebroadcasts so drivers can hear them on their car radios.

To reduce traffic congestion and improve travel time, Transurban undertook a significant upgrade of Sydney’s M2 Motorway, which included widening the 360m roadway tunnel from two to three lanes in both directions. During this process, Transurban recognised the need to upgrade the public address system and audio break-in of the AM/FM Radio Rebroadcast System (RRB) via the Intelligent Transport System (ITS).

Transurban required RFI to fully manage the project and provide a full turnkey solution of Break-in radio rebroadcast including design, installation, commission, training and documentation.

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Design

RFI designed the system which comprised:

  • 12 Channels of AM and 12 Channels of FM Off-Air Channelised Uni-Directional Amplifiers
  • UHF O&M Two-Way Radio Rebroadcast
  • UHF/Police/RMS Rebroadcast
  • Future compatibility for inclusion of DAB+ Rebroadcast
  • Coaxial and Radiating Cable AM/FM RF distribution system
  • Audio Break-In Interface to the AM/FM
  • Rebroadcast System
  • Fully Integrated DYNAC OMCS Radio
  • Rebroadcast interface
  • Audio Server / Logger/ Replayer
  • PMCS System Alarm Monitoring interface
  • And associated combining, antennas and related equipment
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Requirements

Specific requirements for the project included:

Tyco selected RFI to design and install the rebroadcast system, based on RFI’s experience and expertise with this technology. RFI delivered a flexible and feature-rich rebroadcast system, utilising a comprehensive suite of their products and services, including:

  • The retransmission of the AM and FM radio station broadcasts to maintain the quality equivalent to that outside of the tunnel
  • The Retransmission of existing Hills
  • M2 operations and maintenance UHF radio system needed to improve hand-held radio reception
  • The system needed to interface to existing PA system
  • The RRB needed to provide an interface to both the primary and secondary
  • OMCS system servers Of particular challenge was the extensive software development RFI had to undertake to enable the interface from radio rebroadcast public address (RRBPA) Audio Server, to communicate with the existing Transurban OMCS system via the Ripple protocol.
  • Also challenging was signal reception and rebroadcast of the clients preferred AM/FM commercial radio stations, this was due to the geographical location and various output power of targeted AM/FM commercial broadcasters. RFI exercised thorough site surveys for optimal antenna placement to ensure strong signal reception and quality tunnel rebroadcasting to resolve these issues.
  • RFI supplied all RRB hardware, software, cabinets, cables and antennas for both East and West Bound Tunnels, the MTP (Main Toll Plaza) and the EPCR (East Portal Control Room).
  • The DSPbR and AM/FM repeater equipment is manufactured at our high spec Adelaide facility. RFI also supplied AM/FM antennas and RFI UHF yagi antennas, lightning protection, and in-tunnel off-air monitoring system.
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South East Asian Games Coverage Solution

RFI supported Singapore radio communication experts, CitiCall. Citicall were chosen by the Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee to provide digital radio services for the South East Asia (SEA) games in 2015. A new digital trunked radio network was installed just in time for the games.

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NZ Waterview Tunnel Rebroadcast

New Zealand Waterview Tunnel Rebroadcast and Break-In Comms System

RFI supplied the system for the rebroadcast of AM/FM radio stations and local Police, Fire and Ambulance two-way radio networks (including duplex and simplex fire-ground channels for in-tunnel incident communications). A new UHF digital two-way radio network for Roadway Operations & Maintenance (O&M) personnel is also included.

RFI fully managed the communications project and provided a full turnkey solution utilising a comprehensive suite of our extensive products and services portfolio in the design, delivery and commissioning of this flexible and feature-rich AM/FM/VHF/UHF radio rebroadcast system. The solution includes live and pre-recorded audio break-in message functionality for roadway incident management, and OMCS RRB control interface, and extensive equipment status and performance monitoring and alarm reporting.

The rebroadcast equipment was built into a small physical footprint to assist installation within the limited equipment space available in several of the in-tunnel equipment node locations, and comprehensive equipment monitoring is incorporated within the design to provide equipment status and alarm reporting throughout the system’s multi-node environment.

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Quick Facts

  • $1.4 billion road project
  • 2.4km long tunnel
  • 8 AM stations rebroadcast
  • 22 FM stations rebroadcast
  • Multi-channel VHF/UHF Emergency Services Rebroadcast
  • UHF O&M Two-Way Radio System – portable radios & O&M Rebroadcast
  • Live and Prerecorded Audio Break-In interface
  • OMCS RRB Control interface
  • OMCS RRB Monitoring and Alarm interface
  • Multiple WDM, Redundant Path, Fibre-based RF Signal distribution
  • Radiating Cable, Multi-band RF Combining, Antennas and related equipment
Click Here for the full Case Study
Click Here for the full Case Study
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Sydney Harbour Tunnel

When Trantek MST needed a reliable rebroadcast system for the Sydney Harbour Tunnel intelligent transport system upgrade project, they chose RFI.

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WA Hospital In-Building Coverage/DAS Solution

RFI DAS team was brought into this greenfield project to design, integrate, install and commission an active communications solution into a newly constructed hospital in Western Australia.

It is currently the only “high power” active fibre repeater system in Australia that can provide 2300TDD today.

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Mining Communications Upgrade of Tait P25 Digital System

Cadia Valley Mine Upgrade of Existing Tait P25 Digital System for above and below ground communications.

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Smart Metering Upgrade

RFI was asked to find an antenna solution suitable for mobile data applications that was easy to install and suitable for residential homes.

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