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Security Cameras

05 Jul 2021

Silvernet Switches Increase Safety On London Tunnelling Project

SilverNet Stand: 3a/J3

Space is a premium in cities, especially in London, so how do you keep the capital city running whilst avoiding erecting costly, space consuming eyesores like pylons across the city?

The solution is simple really, you go underground.

Since the early 2000’s there have been a series of tunnels being built around and under London to house the power lines which provide the city with reliable and effective energy. Mining and tunnel communications specialist, MTI Tech Ltd engineers, have been involved with these projects for 14 years, and have chosen SilverNet equipment to help them establish and maintain a strong IP communications network for the safety and efficiency of construction workers.

The Project

Initial construction of a ring of tunnels around London began in the early 2000’s with the purpose of bringing power lines underground. MTI Tech Ltd have recently been working on a 32km tunnel with 5 sections which require a reliable wireless communication network to ensure the safety of the workers throughout the construction of the tunnels.

The Challenge

Various stations and pieces of equipment needed to be installed along the length of the tunnels, including environmental monitoring systems, CCTV equipment, fixed IP telephones and tracking tools.

The safety of the workers while these tunnels are being constructed is, of course, a high priority. A reliable, rugged communications network is an incredibly important part of the project to help ensure that safety regulations are met. There are strict health and safety standards to be adhered to when tunnelling in the UK, in particular BS6164 which deals with the safety of those engaged in the tunnelling process, and those who could be affected by it. Using a high bandwidth fibre or Wi-Fi network for voice and data can significantly help meet these high standards, and improve workers safety.

The Solution

For this project 2 separate communications backbones are in operation. The primary voice communications consists of a leaky feeder system, also known as a radiating cable system, which has amplifiers spaced every 350m. The secondary communications consists of a fibre based network which is daisy chained with SilverNet fibre switches every 500m.

These switches are an important part of the network as they provide connectivity to the various applications that run throughout the tunnels. For example, every 500m you will find an environmental monitoring station which monitors the levels of 8 different gases including oxygen, methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and others. Having a reliable communications network ensures that, should the levels of these emissions become harmful, workers will be made aware of it quickly and efficiently, to avoid any health and safety issues.

The Technical Bit

SilverNet Series 7 Fibre Switches are being deployed across the length of the tunnels, with the first fibre switch being installed at “pit bottom”, operating with a gas station and telephone. With these switches in place, the communications network can be relied upon to keep workers safe and operations running smoothly throughout the construction period.

Why SilverNet?

SilverNet is known for high quality, cost effective wireless solutions, and the Series 7 Fibre Switches used on this project live up to these expectations, whilst also being rugged and reliable for the challenging environments of this project.

MTI were keen to work with a UK based company like SilverNet for a number of reasons. Supporting British businesses is more important now than ever, and MTI wanted to avoid any potential issues that may have arisen from Brexit or the global pandemic if reliant on a global supply chain. By choosing SilverNet they knew they would receive excellent quality UK manufactured equipment that meets the high British standards and regulations. MTI are always looking for manufacturers who provide new, innovative and interesting technology to embark on a journey with.

About MTI Tech Ltd

There are 3 pillars at the core of MTI Tech Ltd: mines, tunnels, and infrastructure. MTI provides radio and wireless communication systems for these challenging environments across the construction industry, and has been for over 20 years. They specialise in confined spaces, especially underground, and know how important it is to meet high industry standards.

If you’re interested in learning more about our range of fibre switches, or have an upcoming project which requires high quality wireless solutions, get in touch with us today.

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