Airports are a perfect environment for SoftRadio
SAS - Scandinavian Airlines System
The largest installation of Mimer SoftRadio is used by
SAS. They have connected all Scandinavian airports to a dispatch center in
Frösundavik, Stockholm. The main connection is their own WAN system, but they
also use public Internet for remote locations.
At each airport there is a ground radio system, at many
airports old analogue channels in VHF or UHF and in the larger airports it is
Tetra. At most airports there is also one or more airband radios. This means
that the dispatchers can talk both to ground personnel and to approaching
airplanes through the same user interface.
All audio in the system is also recorded through
Mimer VoiceLog servers.
For backup reasons there is also an extra standby dispatch
central at Arlanda Airport, that can be operational at short notice.
In total the system has about 50 operators and 60 radios
spread out over Scandinavia.
For their new airport wing in BIAL they choose to install a Mimer SoftRadio
system in their main control center.
The system has 11 operators working with 6 air band radios and 6 trunked
Tetra radios. It has also a supervising system that will report any errors to
the service team.
Read more on the supervising system here.
The system was sold and set up in cooperation with our systems partner
Testadvance from Melbourne.
Other Airports and Airlines
Connecting mobile phones to radio
Systems (SAS) ran a project called Pit Stop which had the goal to shorten the airplanes time on the ground during turn-around at an airport. As strange as it might sound it is more expensive to have long stops than it is to fly.
One of the issues that came up was that the flight crew didn't have audio communication with the gate and the ground crew.
The first test of a new system that would fix this was
decided to be at Arlanda Airport. Arlanda uses an old
Motorola SmartNet trunked system. It is organised so that everyone that works around a plane at turn-around set their talk group on the radio to for example Gate 19. Then everyone from baggage and fuelling to cleaning and ticket checkers can talk
and listen in one big talk group. But the problem was still that the pilot and the cabin crew was left out.
How to solve this? Give them a SmartNet radio, easy!
No, that wouldn't work because the crew didn't like the rather large radio and they would have a hard time charging the radios on board the plane
and it would also be a solution only for Arlanda airport that would not work at
The solution was instead to give the cabin crew GSM-phones.
Together with our partner GroupTalk we set up GSM-phone conference calls.
Each of the cabin crew calls into a conference. They have the number under speed
dial on their phones, for example "Gate 19". When the first GSM phone has called
the conference, the conference automatically calls up a Mimer Phone to Radio
Interface. The interface will set the radio it is connected to, to Gate 19 and then all GSM users are connected into the same
talk group as the ordinary radio users at Arlanda.
To be on the safe side, 20 units of Mimer Phone to Radio interfaces has been set up together with
20 Motorola System Spectra radios on Arlanda. They are placed at two different
sites for redundancy.
Other Swedish Airports
In the same manner as above SAS wanted to have the same functionality on all airports they traffic in Sweden. But the other airports use small one or two channel UHF-systems for ground traffic.
We then built a new version of the Mimer Phone to Radio interface that works with the Motorola GM380 analogue radio.
Together with the conference calls set up by GroupTalk the cabin crew can call up the radio at any airport and be a part of the radio calls.
Operators at SAS in Stockholm controlling radios all over Scandinavia
Norwegian and Danish Airports
Taking the concept further we installed it on the Norwegian
and Danish airports also. But there we didn't use the Phone to Radio interfaces. We used the standard Mimer NetworkInterface for Motorola GM380. This means that instead of analogue phone lines at the airports we use ADSL/WAN/Internet and the connection to the conference call is done via VoIP.
We then installed it on Oslo's Gardermoen Airport, but they use Tetra, so we used the standard Mimer Network Interface for Motorola MTM800
Tetra radio. During 2011 also the Copenhagen airport, Kastrup, has installed the
Click for more reading on the Mimer Phone to Radio interface.
The concept of connecting conference calls in GSM and/or Push
To Talk calls in GSM with Two-Way radio calls are asked for by more and more
users. Apart from more airports we have currier firms using the same concept and
have also been asked by for example security companies and harbours.
More airport possibilities
Connecting not only the ground radio but also the ground to air radio
(airband) used when approaching an airport gives the opportunity to remotely speak to planes that are flying in to airports in remote areas where there are no personnel. Or just to listen in on the conversation from a central city dispatch.
This can be used to centralize communications for many
airports to one single point.
You may also cross connect the different radio types,
allowing the planes to talk to ground personnel that do not have the airband