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Clear CinCom finalizes GSM-R design for the Hanzelijn

18/08/2009

Telecommunication consultancy firm Clear CinCom will provide the Final Cell Plan of the GSM-R network for the new high speed railway Hanzelijn, which runs from Lelystad to Zwolle in The Netherlands. On August 18, Nokia Siemens Netherlands (NSN) asked Clear CinCom to produce the final cell plan, but also to supervise all Line of Sight (LOS) requests and to oversee the transmission plan for the new route. Clear CinCom will also perform all measurements necessary to design the communication installation for a tunnel which passes underneath the lake Drontermeer; these measurements will be used to implement the Dutch Tetra communication system.

Clear CinCom had already provided NSN with the Nominal Cell Plan (NCP) of the Hanzelijn. However, according to Clear CinCom director Martijn Kuijpers, the Final Cell Plan (FCP) is a much more elaborate undertaking. To transform a NCP into a FCP requires three steps. Firstly, continuous wave (CW) measurements are performed and compared to the theoretical propagation in the radio network planning software. Then the network requirements, which are defined by ProRail, need to be translated into design criteria. To give one example of why this is important: all requirements set in ETCS SUBSET093 v2.3 need to be translated to radio cell planning level, so that we can determine the number of masts needed and their optimal locations. Finally, these locations need to be surveyed, so that the site construction engineer and our radio planners can determine all specific site parameters. These need to be logged as they are needed to apply for the necessary permits with the local government. Obviously, no railway can be built without the right permits.

Already, Clear CinCom has performed the Continuous Wave (CW) measurements on eight locations along the Hanzelijn. For these, a so-called cherry picker was used, prepared with a test transmitter and test antenna. Reception is measured along the route of the track, using a four wheel drive car equipped with a test receiver. By mapping the results of the measurements at various locations using different heights of the cherry picker, the radio planner could determine the actual propagation characteristics of the radio signals along the route. This overview was then combined with the theoretical propagation model in the network planning software. This way, an accurate overview of all options and possibilities could be produced.

The Hanzelijn is scheduled to be completed in 2012; its radio network must comply with the international QoS Subset 093 v2.3 and the ERTMS GSM-R QoS test specification 0-2475 v3.0.

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