The Lincoln tunnel (measuring 2.6 km) and the Holland tunnel (also 2.6 km) both run
under the Hudson River, linking Manhattan Island in New York with New Jersey. These
two tunnels carry an extreme amount of traffic at all hours, which adds a complexity in
terms of the deployment.
In 2000, PBE Axell was involved in providing coverage for the PCS cellular
services. This was achieved using multi operator Point-Of-Interface (POI) to directly feed
radiating cables in each bore and to feed mid-tunnel remotes via Fibre Optics.
The need to provide PCS coverage for additional operators arose in 2007. The existing
solution needed to be upgraded in order to meet new requirements that would also allow
the 3rd generation Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) band to be added.
Due to access restrictions in the tunnel bores the new system had to be installed and
commissioned with the shortest possible downtime in order to keep cellular coverage
disruption to a minimum. The upgrade required the incorporation of all existing
monitoring and control into the new system which would result in full redundancy and
alarm reporting for both cellular bands.
The size of the POI was a key consideration as it had to provide additional individual
downlink and uplink interfaces for 8 PCS operators and 6 AWS operators, and still keep
within a predetermined size dictated by the old equipment.
Through a careful evaluation of suppliers that could possibly deliver a solution that took
the above requirements into account; PBE Axell was selected because of its
capability to provide equipment that could be custom designed to the specific
requirements. The basis of the final design was the large range of passive and active
modules found in the PBE Axell portfolio.
The design of the POI was an interesting challenge because of the complicated filtering
involved and the requirement to fit the completed combining system into a very limited
space. PBE Axell successfully achieved this through careful design and planning,
3D CAD modelling and the skill of production and test staff who have experience of
building many such unique and complicated one-off solutions.
The AWS fibre fed amplifiers were designed so they could easily be connected in parallel
with the existing PCS amplifiers using new fibre optic transmitters and receivers to feed
both amplifiers and take over all the alarm monitoring and reporting.
The solution was designed in such a way that enabled a quick swap on-site during the
installation and commissioning phase. The design includes redundant power supplies and
battery back-ups for the equipment ensuring that even in times of complete mains power
failure the system continues to function.
“I think our overall impression of the
equipment was more like ‘How was this
done?’. We were extremely impressed
with the equipment combiners and
amplifiers as well as your production
facility. We were quite impressed that
all the components that were able to fit
into the combiners as well as they did.”
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