Airbus Defence and Space presented a new version of its THR9 Ex intrinsically safe TETRA hand-portable radio at the Critical Communication World event in Barcelona. It provides superior audio performance and increased safety for use in harsh and explosive environments together with the benefits provided by the TH9, the latest TETRA handheld from the company.
The THR9 Ex is specifically designed for those who require a rugged radio for demanding operations where intrinsically safe products are mandatory, such as firefighters or workers who use radio communications in explosion-prone areas.
Thanks to a complete re-engineering of the acoustic design, this new terminal provides a high volume level and excellent audibility for voice calls. Such a high-level audio performance is especially crucial for those who mostly work in very noisy environments.
Although the THR9 Ex is reasonably lightweight, its 2000 mAh high-capacity battery allows more than 15 hours of use. Should the mission last longer than planned and the battery runs out, it can be exchanged for a fully charged battery directly at the explosive area without any risk to the user, thus increasing their safety.
The use of electronic devices in explosion-prone areas is particularly challenging as overheating or sparks would endanger the life of the user. This for instance applies to firefighters working in an explosion-prone area or workers in locations where inflammable substances are produced, processed, transported or stored: oil and gas platforms, petrochemical and steel industries, refineries, rigs and harbours.
The THR9 Ex complies with the most advanced standards: the ATEX (ATmosphère EXplosibles) directive and IECEx from the International Electrotechnical Commission, which makes it suitable for such demanding requirements.
The handheld is protected from explosions, even if it is dropped, used inadvertently or if the battery is disconnected from the device. Moreover, the robust housing and display window provide the THR9 Ex with excellent protection from shocks, which are very frequent in such harsh environments.
In addition, the new THR9 Ex provides the same benefits as the TH9, the latest TETRA handheld from Airbus Defence and Space. A large colour screen that displays information clearly and sharply and a full alphanumeric keypad enables easy access to a full set of advanced features.
These include a global navigation satellite system receiver embedded in the THR9 Ex for autonomous geospatial positioning. This improves the positioning accuracy while reducing the time needed to acquire satellite signals and navigation data, and therefore calculate the user’s position.
The ‘Where are you’ feature shows on the radio display where the other team members are during a group call, and the ‘Lifeguard’ feature, also known as a man-down alarm, and the emergency alert, mandatory in PMR radio, ensure the complete safety of the user and make the device more convenient to use. The Java platform allows other applications to be customised in order to meet dedicated needs for specific missions.
An embedded Bluetooth component will allow the use of a wide range of ATEX/IECEx-certified Bluetooth accessories depending on the work being performed such as a remote speaker microphone, heavy-duty headset or earpieces, as well as a remote push-to-talk button.
This freedom from wires ensures increased user comfort. Besides the new Bluetooth option, which can be selected with the order or activated later with a licence update, all existing THR9 Ex legacy accessories can still be used. They can also be connected to and disconnected from the THR9 Ex directly in the explosive area.