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Robin Hood Airport

Liverpool Airport

RAD Multiplexers Transmit Critical Radar Traffic Between Two Major UK Airports

Megaplex-2100 incorporates cross-site PBX traffic without leasing additional expensive E1 lines

When Peel Airports Group, the owners of England’s Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Yorkshire's Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield decided to upgrade the radar and communication services due to a programmed airspace change, they turned to Cyrrus Ltd., a leading British independent consultancy that focuses on bringing creative, imaginative solutions to the challenges facing the airport and air traffic industries.

The main en-route air traffic control service provider in the United Kingdom, NATS, based at Swanwick or Manchester, hands over control of aircraft inbound into Robin Hood Doncaster to the approach control unit of the destination airport when it is about 40 nautical miles away. In this case, Liverpool John Lennon Airport – despite being located nowhere near the aircraft’s destination – supplies the approach control service to Robin Hood Airport using critical radar and related time-sensitive data transmitted over a dedicated Wide Area Network (WAN) that runs some 80 miles between the two locations over two E1 leased lines. This process realizes significant savings in infrastructure and manning overheads without any detriment to safety.

Having determined the technical requirement and created the system design, Cyrrus approached Cambridgeshire-based Magdalene Ltd., an authorized RAD Data Communications partner, for a solution to meet the operational requirement. Magdalene recommended that RAD’s Megaplex-2100 multiservice access multiplexers be deployed at each end of each E1 line. In addition, at John Lennon Airport, RAD’s ASMi-52 G.SHDSL modems are used to transport traffic over a copper line between old and new control tower buildings. Magdalene utilized its marshalling, integration and test-bed facilities to build and configure the products prior to site deployment, and were also on hand to assist Cyrrus in commissioning the solution.

Complex Applications Accommodated by Network Architecture
Apart from radar hardware changes, the project also entailed frequency allocation alterations together with new air traffic control operational procedures. Among the many complex applications that have to be accommodated by the architecture are full redundant path switchover, G.703 co-directional 64 kbps channels, PCM voice, radar data, and Ethernet status monitoring, all of which have to be transported across a fault tolerant WAN network.

Challenge Challenge

Transport PCM voice, radar data, and Ethernet status monitoring across a fault tolerant WAN network.

solution Solution

RAD’s Megaplex-2100 multiservice access multiplexers.

Future-Proof Solution Supports Legacy and Packet Switched Transport
“RAD was one of the few companies to support legacy protocols like G.703 co-directional 64 kbps as well as providing vital Ethernet, RS232 and voice channels,” noted Richard Ingless, Director of Cyrrus. “The future-proof Megaplex-2100 is equipped with redundant ring recovery and an IP link option that will enable it to continue to be used should packet-switched IP or Ethernet transport, with a critical Service Level Agreement (SLA), become available in the future,” he continued. “Moreover, on submission of the Safety Case, approval was secured from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to operate the new Megaplex-2100 based system in this safety-critical airport operation.

RAD’s Megaplex-2100 multiplexers will also allow Robin Hood Airport to reduce their telecommunications operating expenses (Opex) by incorporating cross-site PBX traffic without having to lease additional expensive E1 links.

Cooperation and Teamwork
“Working to tight timescales, our solution engineering team advised Cyrrus on the initial equipment selection, our logistics department sourced the products from RAD, and our technical support engineers provided configuration, test and implementation services” stated Bernard Smart, General Manager at Magdalene Ltd. “Utilizing our 24/7 Network Operations Center, we are able to provide long-term support services to ensure operation and availability of this critical communications solution.”

Voice, data and Ethernet over E1 leased lines

Robin Hood Airport

Benefits Benefits

  • Full redundant path switchover
  • G.703 co-directional 64 kbps channels
  • Multiplexing PCM voice, radar data, and Ethernet status monitoring across a fault tolerant WAN network

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