The non technical offshore renewables Industry Managers guide.

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Radio Communications 101 – The non technical offshore renewables Industry Managers guide.

Radio communications can help improve business efficiency and safety, whether shore-side, or at sea.

Radio waves travel differently depending on frequency, but most portable systems (hand held walkie-talkies etc) have line of sight transmission characteristics.

You will come across VHF & UHF systems. This refers to the frequency (similar to the channel), and each has differing characteristics, suited to applications.

VHF, which stands for Very High Frequency, occurs between 30 – 300 MHz (megahertz), and gives a greater range than UHF in open country (or sea).

UHF, which stands for Ultra High Frequency, occurs in the range of 300 – 3000 MHz. Although UHF has a shorter theoretical range than VHF, it tends to offer better performance in built up areas, such as buildings and built up areas.

Therefore communication between an offshore wind farm and a shore-side, or ships base station, would ideally suit VHF.

Communication within an enclosed structure, such as a building or ship, would suit UHF better.

Physical obstacles attenuate or even block radio signals. This can be solved by using a ‘radio repeater’. A radio repeater is a device that combines both a radio receiver, and a transmitter.

Used in conjunction with a tall antenna, it will receive a weak signal from a far off radio, and then re-broadcast the same signal at a greater signal strength.

A radio repeater can therefore increase your communications range, and allow signals to pass, which might otherwise be blocked by physical objects.

Radio equipment is available in a variety of Ingress protection (IP) ratings up to IP68, allowing water submersibility, making radio communications reliable even in the hostile offshore environment.

For potentially explosive environments, such as ships battery rooms and fuel depots, Intrinsically Safe ATEX radio equipment is available.

Yesway Communications recently helped an Aberdeen based offshore contractor involved in installing offshore wind turbines. Poor radio performance when around the ship was solved through proper equipment setup (something that had not been done by the original supplier of the equipment)

The Internet of Things and increased automation of shipping presents new opportunities and challenges. For help and guidance on IOT (Internet of Things) Wireless possibilities, visit this link to our sister site.

More Information

Craig Miles, Tel. +44 (0)1482 520 818 Fax. +44 (0)1522 740 818
E-mail: craig.miles(at)yesway.co.uk Web: http://www.yesway.co.uk