First undersea tunnel to connect two continents rigged up with emergency network

An emergency communications network has been installed in the Eurasia Tunnel, the first undersea road tunnel to connect two continents.

The network uses a multi-band, multi-technology coverage solution to provide continuous coverage along the 5.4km tunnel, which links two areas of Istanbul and spans both Europe and Asia.

Cobham Wireless’, who are responsible for installing the network, said it uses D-CSR (Digital Channel Selective Repeaters) and BSR (Band Selective Repeaters) and supports ultra-high frequency (UHF), very high frequency (VHF), digital mobile radio (DMR), and FM technologies.

The availability of different technologies ensures that emergency services and operational teams can communicate at all times, throughout the tunnel.

Cobham Wireless was awarded the contract in September 2016 and worked with partner Yapı İDİS to install the system in three months. The Eurasia Tunnel recently opened to the public for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“Cobham Wireless’ public safety solution provides a robust, reliable means of communication for Turkey’s police, fire, and disaster and emergency services,” said Dogan Ozturk, country manager, Turkey, at Cobham Wireless. “Also, as the digital off-air repeaters are software-based, new features can be easily added via a remote download, making this a robust and future-proof system.”

In addition to both internal and interdepartmental communications, the deployment also features a break-in system, allowing operational teams to access the FM channel and alert drivers to safety issues via their in-car FM radios.

The system includes two master sites, each containing one VHF repeater for communication between ambulance services, and one UHF repeater each for police, fire and DMR/AFAD (Istanbul’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority) communication.

The sites include one combiner and one Optical Master Unit (OMUII), and sit at either end of the tunnel, with one site providing essential back-up coverage.

The master sites are connected via fibre to multiple remotes sites, providing reliable communications at any point throughout the tunnel. The entire system can be overseen and controlled off-site.

“The tunnel is of huge strategic importance to the region, and with so many vehicles and their passengers passing through every day, public safety was our number one concern,” said Dr Tamer Taşkın, General Manager of YM İDİS, Yapı Merkezi Group’s technology company.

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