Smart Radio: Harmonization, flexibility and improved energy efficiency through the renewal of skyguide’s radio system
For communication between air traffic controllers and pilots, skyguide operates a radio system consisting of 600 radio communication devices and located in 34 transmitting and receiving stations all over Switzerland.
In 2012, skyguide launched a project called “Smart Radio” to renew entirely its main radio system. The new radio equipment is harmonized nationwide, increases flexibility and improves energy efficiency. In addition, it forms the technical basis with which frequency regulation is implemented by Eurocontrol.
Apart from technical suitability, energy consumption was also a criterion when evaluating the new equipment. By using a central, external power supply unit, the solution adopted consumes up to 30% less energy. Thus, skyguide saves nearly 200,000 kWh of power per year compared with equipment having individual power supply units. In addition, the new system can be maintained remotely. Therefore, most of the maintenance journeys to the external sites are no longer necessary, so that over 13,000 travel kilometers are saved.
In 2017, all the radios of La Dôle station have been renewed. La Dôle is the most important site of transmission for the air navigation services of Geneva. The renewal was a considerable challenge since the 64 radios were in operation. Furthermore, the radio service could not be interrupted during the renewal. All in all, through the project “Smart Radio La Dôle” skyguide put in services more than 80 radio transmitters and rebuilt two brand new main power supply.
By 2020 all radio stations in Switzerland will be equipped with the new apparatus.