Seattle Tunnel Case Study

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Tunnel Radio

Public Safety Communications

Reliable communications within the Public Safety sector is vital for First Responders. Fire and police departments, along with emergency medical services, all rely on the Public Safety communications network in coordinating their response. It is often the difference between life and death.

Challenge: Areas Where Communications Signals Are Interrupted

In Public Safety communications, established wireless solutions exist in the form of repeaters, dispatch stations, and two-way radios. However, the communication challenge increases significantly in areas where over-the-air communications signals are interrupted, such as tunnels, buildings, and other hard to reach locations. A means for extending the over-the-air communications into these disadvantaged areas must be developed.

Furthermore, in congested urban locations, with a very large number of Public Safety personnel, the challenge of sustaining simultaneous, clear, dependable communications becomes even greater. The challenge lies in maintaining simultaneous communications among many Public Safety users in an environment that is also filled with a multitude of other wireless signals including commercial radio, cellular networks, and Private System users. In an urban area like Seattle, WA, the communications spectrum is pushed to the limit.

Solution: A Distributed Antenna System

Tunnel Radio of America has a long history of successfully extending communications systems into disadvantaged areas such as the Great Northern Tunnel in Seattle. In this case, the solution was establishing a distributed antenna system (DAS) inside the tunnel to bring the tunnel into the existing Public Safety network. The solution included locating a Signal Booster at the tunnel’s south portal to provide the interface between the existing surface repeater and the distributed antenna system inside the 5300’ tunnel. The distributed antenna system included radiating coaxial cable running the length of the tunnel, with bi-directional line amplifiers regularly placed in the cable run to maintain signal levels throughout the tunnel… read more by clicking download below.

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