Press Releases


Area Contact Regine Suling Manager Marketing Communications, Radio Frequency Systems +49 511 676 3552
Global contact Jörg Springer Vice President Global Marketing & Communications +49 511 676 2516
08-Jun-2007 Print page

RFS supports Arqiva for 2007 DSO sites

In support of the UK’s digital switchover (DSO), Radio Frequency Systems is supplying broadband antenna systems to transmission provider Arqiva for another five main transmitter sites. Designed to meet the DSO’s new channel allocations and higher-power digital broadcasting requirements, the new RFS systems will be installed and commissioned in partnership with network engineering specialists, Babcock Networks.

Involving the complete reengineering of some 1,150 sites across the UK, the DSO is a six-year project that will see existing analog television broadcast services switched off and DTV services extended nationwide. The Arqiva sites targeted for upgrade in 2007 are located in those regions scheduled for DSO in 2009: Granada (mainly Lancashire), Wales and the West Country (Devon and Cornwall). RFS antenna systems will be installed by Babcock Networks at Winter Hill, one of the largest sites in the UK which services the massive populations of Manchester and Liverpool, and also at Presely and Moel-y-Parc in Wales, and Stockland Hill and Huntshaw Cross in Devon.

According to Dave Thickett, RFS European Sales Director for Broadcast and Defense Systems, RFS is initially supplying main and reserve broadband panel arrays, flexible coaxial transmission line, and switch-frames for each of the five sites. “It’s imperative that television services are maintained throughout each DSO installation,” he said. “For this reason, a new reserve antenna will be installed first at each site. Services will operate from this while the main antenna is completely replaced. Ultimately, each site will have a new main and reserve antenna.”

The 10 separate antennas are a mix of four or five-sided cantilevers and radial-fire panel arrays from RFS’s popular horizontally polarized PHP series. Nine have omni-directional horizontal radiation patterns (HRP) that closely match existing analog coverage; however, the Stockland Hill reserve antenna--an 8-level, 16-panel per level radial-fire array--will feature a tailored HRP to protect international services. Each broadband antenna system is designed to radiate six combined UHF digital channels.

RFS is also supplying a tailor-made switch-frame for each site. These will support the complex switching combinations of existing analog services (where present), plus the main and reserve combiner chains of the six new digital transmitters. “The Winter Hill site presents an interesting challenge,” Thickett said. “It’s broadcasting at a fairly high power, and this combined with the particularly high frequencies used by one of the DTT channels--right at the top end of Band V--has led to the development of a new switch-frame using 75-ohm components instead of conventional 50-ohm.” Pre-DSO, the site is transmitting four analog channels at 500kW ERP; post-DSO, six DTT multiplexes will be broadcast at 100kW ERP.

Four lengths of RFS’s leading HELIFLEX air-dielectric coaxial transmission line will support the dual panel arrays (main and reserve) at each site. Thickett said installation was already underway, with the first RFS antennas delivered to Huntshaw Cross and Presely in April 2007, and to Winter Hill in May.
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