Telstar proudly offers leading-edge technology for highly accurate, rapid field surveying and testing of even the most complex networks with our radio antenna mast trailer. Designed for use by one technician, this custom-outfitted mobile unit saves both time and labor dollars for clients.
Telstar’s antenna mast trailer features an ultra-narrow footprint, allowing for use in tight spaces and small sites, and the technology can test at antenna heights up to 65’ above ground.
Today’s modern SCADA systems transmit information between central computers and remote station PLCs using wireless technology including cellular, microwave, licensed VHF/UHF/900 MHz, unlicensed 900 MHz, or even Wi-Fi. Selecting the best wireless technology for your system depends on many factors such as local terrain, urban vs. rural, distance between stations, cost, number of remote stations, bandwidth required, required polling speed, etc.
Once a wireless technology is selected, a computer-generated model of the wireless system predicts the performance for each path so that the best method of obtaining a reliable radio link is known. The same process is used to confirm required antenna height, type, and size, as well as power and other feed line requirements.
Beyond Computer Modeling: Where Antenna Field Testing Comes In
Unfortunately, computer-generated modeling does not account for trees, buildings, or other structures in the radio path, or local sources of RF interference, making field surveying and testing a vital step. With a high-resolution video camera at the top of the mast, and a remote-controlled pan/tilt motorized antenna positioning system, each prospective radio path can be predicted and validated to account for real-world conditions of every SCADA system that Telstar installs. In short, antenna field testing ensures that the performance of the installed system will meet both the client’s and Telstar’s expectations.
How Antenna Field Testing Works
With the 65-ft. antenna mast trailer, Telstar temporarily installs a radio at a master and/or repeater site and tests connectivity from the master/repeater to the remote sites in the predicted coverage area of the master/repeater radio. Signal strength, signal-to-noise ratio, data throughput, RF noise, azimuth and down-tilt are measured at various antenna heights; when all of the remote sites connect to the master/repeater, testing is complete.
If one or more paths fail to establish satisfactory connectivity, our technicians know that alternate configurations must be identified in order to secure the necessary connectivity paths. Telstar then provides our client with a survey report. If requested, Telstar can also provide a detailed installation recommendation.
Direct Benefit to Telstar Customers
- Accuracy: Precision instrumentation ensures accurate antenna height (over hand-held mast or man-lift mounted mast)
- Time Savings: Rapid deployment – just a few minutes from arrival on-site to deployment of path test, including complex networks
- Cost Savings: Automated controls designed for use by a single-technician means more sites can be surveyed in a single day, resulting in less down-time for customers and lower labor/project costs.