ViaLite Extends TETRA Network into Blast-Proof Emergency Rooms
RigNet, a specialist technology provider to the oil and gas industry, are installing a new communications system on an oil rig off the coast of Queensland, Australia. ViaLite RF over fiber links will allow staff to use their TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked Radio) handsets inside any of the explosion-proof emergency rooms that were previously cut off from the network. In the event of an emergency on the oil rig, staff can enter one of these explosion-proof rooms. However, the blast protection also prevents radio signals from penetrating the rooms and therefore TETRA handsets are isolated on the network. Using ViaLite links, RigNet were able to connect each emergency room to the TETRA network and allow staff inside to maintain communication in the event of an emergency. The very low losses of fiber also means that a single link could easily cover the distance from each room to the antenna.
Originally a European standard known as Trans-European Trunked Radio, TETRA is a walkie-talkie specification designed for use by agencies such as the emergency services and public safety networks.
“Optical fiber is non-conductive so unlike a copper cable it is not a potential ignition hazard,” says ViaLite director of sales for North America, Craig Somach. “Also, the overall cost of a solution based on RF over fiber was significantly lower than using other technologies, while delivering technically similar performance.”