Ergon Energy in Queensland, Australia has completed the first stage of its high-resilience radio communications upgrade, including the deployment of Zetron’s Project 25 (P25) console subsystem interface (CSSI).
The CSSI is connected to multiple Zetron Advanced Communications (Acom) P25 console systems APCO P25 to provide a digitally encrypted radio communications network, which can be leveraged to optimise advanced monitoring, control, tracking, and communications across widespread delivery infrastructures.
Ergon Energy’s field crews are required to move within the state to respond to emergencies and system faults and to support and bolster local area resources, particularly during natural disasters. To support Ergon’s field crews and the power network, an advanced communication network is being built using a software-defined radio communications architecture.
Zetron, a provider of command-and-control integrated voice-and-data communication systems and radio dispatch consoles, has previously supplied Ergon with an Acom console system. Acom is a fully-digital switching and multiplexing system that represents the state of the art in integrated communication console technology for mission-critical applications.
Commissioned in June 2012, stage 1 of the new network built by BAI Group Company, Airwave Solutions Australia (Airwave) already covers 177,000km in the southern Queensland region including Toowoomba, Warwick and Darling Downs.
The next section of the network, between Townsville and Cairns, will see additional high-availability P25 radio frequency subsystem (RFSS) cores installed at Ergon’s data centres in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and Maryborough.
Zetron Australasia vice president and general manager, Ranjan Bhagat, said that, as a result of the RFSS deployment, Ergon Energy’s system-wide resilience will be reinforced by having each of the existing Acom systems connect directly to each of the P25 RFSS cores via a resilient IP WAN.
“In this configuration,” said Bhagat, “which is the first of its kind in the world, in the event of a radio systems failure, no intervention is needed on the Zetron CSSI-connected Acom P25 console system. The net outcome is that state-wide Ergon operations can continue seamlessly, even in the unlikely event of a system failure.”
Airwave CEO Malcolm Keys said that the additional RFSS cores would make Ergon’s network one of the most resilient private mobile radio (PMR) networks in the non-military world.
“Our primary role is to bring together the different components of the solution into a single, unified network,” said Keys. “We are working in partnership with Ergon Energy, Auria Wireless, Tait Communications, and Zetron, who are also technology partners within the P25 solution centre. Together, we are emphasising the benefits of a common industry approach within the APCO P25 standards to achieve optimum interoperability efficiency.”