In a mission critical environment a professionally conducted system or site evaluation is critical to mitigating a significant failure/risk point. Radio systems are core risk mitigation tools and must be managed accordingly. Many client sites lack reliable, accurate baseline information regarding the design and architecture of the system, fleet mapping structure, and overall functionality. Without this comprehensive system baseline there is a potential exposure to risk for the client in being able to keep the system working as required. In layman’s terms, its comparable to visiting a doctor who does not diagnose the issue before deciding on a course of treatment: if the client does not have the necessary information with which to make sound business decisions pertaining to radio system design, maintenance, investment and overall management, they are placing their core business at risk.
Radio systems are the communications backbone for the end user – a critical business system – and need to be treated as such. The System Site Evaluation process is how a capable integrator can ensure that they have the necessary technical information from which to begin.
Lastly, radio systems need to be treated like the significant investment – both financial and operational – that they are. Like any complex technical system, radio systems need to be kept “healthy and functional” over the course of its duty cycle. The first step in making this happen is the baseline. To fully understand the functionality of the client’s communication system, the following information will be compiled:
- System and Tower grounding including lightning protection;
- Verify System “As Builts”;
- Building Layout & site coordinates;
- Tower profile, antenna elevations and azimuths;
- Verify UPS “As Builts” including UPS configurations, voltages, and backup time;
- Power Distribution, AC/DC;
- Verify rack layout of RF equipment and filtering component mounting;
- System Network layout, Switches, Routers, Interconnection map and System IP Topology including Network configuration (LAN/WAN);
- Determine if a Maintenance port is available on Switches and Routers;
- Verify System Remote Access availability and network security access protocol; i.e.: access list;
- Coverage deficient areas;
- Verify any BDA’s (Bi-Directional Amplifiers) that are used to augment coverage in buildings;
- Verify Industry Canada frequency compliance.