Rohde & Schwarz Maritime Communications Solution Boosts Port of London Authority Vessel Traffic Services

Rohde & Schwarz has revealed details of its role in a project to totally upgrade the London vessel traffic services (VTS) communication equipment for the Port of London Authority (PLA).

Rohde & Schwarz Maritime Communications Solution Boosts Port of London Authority Vessel Traffic Services
VTS officer Guy Underwood shown at the controls of the Rohde & Schwarz VoIP-based maritime communications system at the Thames Barrier Navigation Centre, Woolwich. (Image credited to: Port of London Authority)
Rohde & Schwarz Maritime Communications Solution Boosts Port of London Authority Vessel Traffic Services

State-of-the-art all-IP voice communication for critical infrastructure by Rohde & Schwarz enhances flexibility, scalability, and robustness of London VTS

Working with PLA engineers at the authority’s control centres in Gravesend, Kent and the Thames Barrier Navigation Centre (TBNC) in Woolwich, Rohde & Schwarz has installed an advanced, VoIP-based maritime communications system to handle all VTS communications. The new, customised system enhances the PLA’s ability to control movement of vessels within the Port of London, which spans the entire coastal Thames from Teddington Lock to the North Sea, and provides future-proof scalability as the VTS requirements continue to evolve.

“The solution Rohde & Schwarz proposed delivers many advanced features and is designed to ensure the uptime and availability we need with no additional overhead to design-in third-party protection,” said chief harbour master, Bob Baker. “We also appreciate the user interface, which is extremely easy to navigate, and the knowledgeable support that gives us confidence in the robustness, functionality and longevity of the system in our critical infrastructure.”

“Our scalable, all-IP voice-communication systems deliver flexibility and ease of use for safety-critical applications, including air-traffic control and maritime communications, which demand the utmost reliability and quality of service,” said Anne Stephan, Vice President Critical Infrastructure at Rohde & Schwarz. “Our team, along with PLA engineers, worked effectively together to deliver the solution and ensure a smooth transition to the new system.”

PLA’s new integrated communication system simplifies vendor-independent integration of telephone and intercom systems, various types of radios including VHF, ADTS system and other equipment such as conferencing and SCADA systems. Resource sharing mechanisms are built in, and various applications can be integrated including mapping, messaging, and third-party applications such as recording and playback, to enable the connectivity to available voice services. There are also facilities for emergency resource management and contingency planning, provided through the operator GUI.

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