The Airbus reorganisation has brought together the former EADS Cassidian and Astrium Services brands into one division. The move unites its capabilities in critical comms, emergency response, satellite comms, geo apps and services, cyber security and coastal surveillance.
Eric Davalo, head of products & services portfolio at Airbus Defence & Space, said: ‘We have brought all these competences together, rather than have them sitting side by side as separate entities.’ Reiterating one of the key themes of CCW 2014, he added: ‘We still see a very active TETRA market, so we are still innovating there in both hardware and applications and also in broadband.’
Airbus has a large family of TETRA base stations and following the launch of the small suitcase sized TB3p (4W output power mobile unit) base station in 2013, this year the company launched the TB3hp – a 15W high power version for outdoor use with a very low power consumption of only 100W.
The TETRA handset portfolio now includes the THR880i, THR9i, THR9i Ex, THR9+ and the TH1n covert radio. At CCW, in addition to the existing 380-430 MHz frequency band TH1n, Airbus unveiled an 800MHz version for use in Asia and America. The company also has its P8GR TETRA pager.
Davalo said that Airbus will be launching a mobile version of its RCS 9500 radio dispatch console for use in combination with the TB3p base station.
As regards applications, Airbus has suites dedicated to fire, police and ambulance. ‘The key is to build the right sets of information pre-loaded into systems whether you are using TETRA, Tetrapol or 4G,’ said Davalo.
‘But the next thing is: how do you extract more information from the data you are receiving from mobile video units, CCTV and the Internet? We need to extract meaningful information from cameras and the Internet to increase situational awareness.
Safe City Test Bed Project
Airbus is testing this with the Safe City Test Bed Project in Singapore. The project has deployed a highly mobile 4G LTE solution developed by Airbus Defence and Space and Alcatel-Lucent.
The general aim of the test bed project in Singapore is to evaluate state-of-the-art technology that can increase situational awareness of several involved agencies by using flexible access to real-time information in the city.
The solution consists of the newly developed Airbus Defence and Space LTE products multi-standard base station (eNB 400) and the new HPM400 high power (HiPo) modem (both launched at CCW) – a new element in Evercor, the integrated LTE 400 PMR solution from Airbus and Alcatel-Lucent, as well as the Alcatel-Lucent 4G product micro core.
The solution has been tested and approved in a real situation. A car belonging to Singapore government agencies was equipped with a vehicle-mounted CCTV (closed-circuit television) solution and the HiPo modem allowed officers to control the camera (e.g. pan, tilt and zoom controls) and capture high-quality video.
At the same time, the video was sent in real time to the control centres for decision support using the 400MHz frequency band operating in a 1.4MHz channel. In addition to the real-time transmission, a video stream was recorded locally in the vehicle and was then exported to a laptop for investigation.
The video encoding was adapted in real time to the available data transmission rate depending on propagation factors at the time (e.g. position of the car at the time, high buildings). This made it possible to permanently optimise the use of radio resources in order to always get the best video quality.