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Rohde & Schwarz upgrades maritime coms for Port Authority

Rohde & Schwarz upgrades maritime coms for Port Authority

The contractor has revamped the maritime communications capability of London VTS equipment.

The contractor has revamped the maritime communications capability of London VTS equipment.

Rohde & Schwarz has upgraded the London vessel traffic services (VTS) communication equipment for the Port of London Authority (PLA), working with engineers at the authority’s control centres in Gravesend, Kent and the Thames Barrier Navigation Centre (TBNC) in Woolwich.

The company installed an advanced, VoIP-based maritime communications system, designed to handle all VTS communications.


The customised system is tipped to enable the PLA to control movement of vessels within the Port of London, spanning the entire coastal Thames from Teddington Lock to the North Sea.

The capability is also tipped to provide “future-proof scalability”, supporting the evolution of VTS requirements.

“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,” chief harbour master Bob Baker said.

“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.”

Anne Stephan, vice president, critical infrastructure at Rohde & Schwarz, said all-IP voice-communication systems would deliver flexibility and ease of use for safety-critical applications, including air-traffic control and maritime communications.

 “Our team, along with PLA engineers, worked effectively together to deliver the solution and ensure a smooth transition to the new system,” Stephan added.

PLA’s new integrated communication system is built to simplify vendor-independent integration of telephone and intercom systems, as well as various types of radios including VHF, ADTS system and other equipment such as conferencing and SCADA systems.

The system integrates resource sharing mechanisms and other applications, including mapping, messaging, and third-party applications such as recording and playback.

Facilities for emergency resource management and contingency planning are also incorporated via the operator GUI.

[Related: Rohde & Schwarz tests resilience of comms on rotary wing aircraft]

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