FLEXIBLE – REUSABLE – EXPANDABLE – ECONOMICAL
AWICS, Airport Wireless Integrated Connectivity System, is a way to allow multiple paths for communications. Voice and data can be carried several different ways to allow users/workers to stay connected and have access to data regardless of workload or location.
Data availability is directly related to accuracy. Lack of TIMELY data increases the possibility of errors. Correcting these errors can be expensive. The most difficult communication issues revolve around the individual when they are either away from their office or out of their vehicle, noise in the environment, weather and the availability of a free hand to operate a microphone.
Getting information accurately to the correct person is the motivation for implementing such complex communication system. For business communications, many airports use handheld portable radios for this purpose. Some small airports are able to use handheld radios in simplex mode. As the distance increases or more airport infrastructure is built, this becomes more of a problem. To increase their limited range, handheld radios are usually configured to work with repeaters in Duplex Mode; a costly solution. It’s also more difficult to expand the system over time. Installing more repeaters may be problematic; using repeaters for data is sometimes not possible without equipment upgrades or replacement.Voice was the only way to send/receive data. Copying data from radio to paper increases the potential for errors as well.
Mentor Radio’s solution is AWICS. AWICS carries voice and data, depending upon the type of radio connected to the fiber. When connected to Wi-Fi, AWICS extends the entire corporate network and all it’s internal capabilities out onto the ramp, taxiways and other remote airfield areas serviced by AWICS remote units.
AWICS is easy to expand. Increase coverage area by adding nodes. To add a node, simply add a base unit to your network connection and run the fiber. Attach a remote unit and you’re ready to connect to the network. AWICS uses Radio Over Fiberoptic (ROF) connections to a Distributed Antenna System or DAS. The DAS converts a radio signal into light and sends it over a fiberoptic link to multiple antennas at many widely distributed locations. Each location converts the light back to a radio signal and radiates it. Since many antennas distribute the same signal to the same coverage area, a repeater can be realized, but at a small fraction of the power. Furthermore, many different radio frequencies can connect to and use the same fiber. With current trends in airport design and consumer electronics both moving at lightning speed to full digital integrated solutions. The question becomes when to move to broadband airfield data access, not if. AWICS overcomes many problems using radios alone or using Wi-Fi alone.