AA Radio Services, Zetron to provide Antarctic consoles

Thursday, 07 November, 2019

AA Radio Services, Zetron to provide Antarctic consoles

Zetron’s ACOM Command & Control system has been selected to provide communications solutions to and between Australia’s research stations in Antarctica.

The contract for integrated radio console systems, equipment and support services was awarded to AA Radio Services, a Melbourne-based Zetron partner and reseller, following a competitive bid process.

Australia operates three stations on the Antarctic continent as well as a station on Macquarie Island, with responsibility for managing more than 3300 assets.

Due to the formidable challenges of working in such an extreme environment, maintaining reliable communications between Hobart and the research stations, and between teams and facilities on the continent, is absolutely vital.

“Needless to say, the geography and conditions make communications a challenge,” said Chris Reade, Senior Business Development Manager at AA Radio.

“From dangerous climate and terrain to space limitations, pre-existing heterogeneous technologies and connection issues ranging from audible interference to service/coverage gaps and device malfunction due to severe conditions and treatment, this is one of the most difficult places in the world to maintain reliable communications.

“So closely understanding the priorities and unique challenges was key to putting together a winning solution.”

The Australian Antarctic Strategy, launched in 2016, committed Australia to implementing the results of a review of Antarctic research station infrastructure. Part of this was to begin a renewal program to create a station network that is efficient, flexible and suited to future needs, including replacing antiquated radio consoles.

The AA Radio contract entails a 12-position ACOM Command & Control system, with consoles at the three Antarctic locations, the station on Macquarie Island and the head office base in Tasmania.

In addition, Zetron and AA Radio will provide implementation, configuration, training and ongoing support services to ensure the system is maintained, upgraded and scaled as needed to meet current and future needs.

“Quality and dependability, even in complex or extreme environments, and the ability to make disparate systems work together are all established hallmarks of Zetron,” said Ranjan Bhagat, Vice President and General Manager, Zetron Australasia.

“Providing mission critical and life-saving centralised communications, now on all seven continents, is a responsibility Zetron takes very seriously. At temperatures close to -50°F there’s simply no margin for error.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Graeme

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