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Oil and Gas

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The technological radio system based on SmartPTT software and MOTOTRBO equipment is used to ensure quality communications at the deposit between dispatcher and the various teams for drilling, maintenance and repair of boreholes, and other workers.
Advantages

The technological radio system based on SmartPTT software and MOTOTRBO equipment is used to ensure quality communications at the deposit between dispatcher and the various teams for drilling, maintenance and repair of boreholes, and other workers.

Use of SmartPTT-based radio communications allows resolution of the majority of operational voice communication problems in the specific conditions of petroleum and gas deposits:

  • Provision of communications for a large number of isolated user groups separated both geographically (energy stations, gas drilling fields, gas processing installations, gas storage facilities, shift camps etc.) and by function (drilling teams, auxiliary transport, foremen etc);
  • Uninterruptible communications when relocating teams between territorially separated facilities;
  • Organization of communications between mobile subscribers, stationary subscribers and subscribers of a departmental telephone network;
  • Distribution of traffic between users and dispatchers in high-intensity radio conversation conditions at the site of the deposit;
  • Rapid alert of dispatchers and those responsible for emergency situations;
  • Provision of a guaranteed stable communications for separate teams;
  • Enhanced safety check of workers when working in dangerous conditions.

Benefits for the dispatcher:

  • Reliable communication of the dispatcher with the teams, even when relocating them from one deposit site to another, voice communications with selected groups or individual subscribers, or interaction using text messages;
  • Easy coordination of teams and personnel. Separate workstations can be organized for dispatchers controlling auxiliary equipment, power engineers, repair teams, etc.;
  • Remote management of user radio station. The dispatcher is kept aware of the situation if there is no response from the user, and can also listen in on the conversations being held by all users on the radio network in their area of responsibility;
  • Check on the safety of an employee in the event of work of increased danger carrying potential risks to human health;
  • Information on the location of the subscriber on the network (radio station switched on/off) and also their status (busy, waiting, etc);
  • Checking location of subscribers at sites using GPS receiver built into the radio station.

Benefits for working personnel:

  • A stable link between workers in separate groups or individually, and link with the dispatcher;
  • Option to link to subscribers of the departmental telephone network;
  • Redeployment of teams from one deposit site to another without loss of signal;
  • Option to allocate a radio channel for individual teams (for example, when carrying out repair or maintenance work);
  • Text messaging with radio station subscribers and the dispatcher (for example, to receive urgent tasks and report on their implementation);
  • Increased level of personal safety due to such modes as “Lone Worker” and “Man Down”. The dispatcher will be sent an alarm signal in the absence of activity from the subscriber within a certain period of time or if he drops out. Danger alarm can also be triggered by text message or by pressing emergency call button.

Benefits for the managers:

  • Reduction in transport and equipment downtime, and also quicker mobilization of working personnel;
  • Increase in worker safety and speed of reaction when emergencies and accidents occur;
  • Increase in personnel discipline due to use of remote monitoring function, listening to and recording conversations.

Benefits for the radio network administrator:

  • Monitoring of the system’s efficiency and amount of data transmission on the network;
  • Receive full information on the network’s infrastructure;
  • Option for remote management of repeaters and radio servers;
  • Customizable profiles for distribution of dispatcher’s access to user channels or groups.
Technical Design

When choosing a radio technology communications system for oil and gas deposits it is necessary to take into account the proposed area of radio network coverage, the number of users and network load. Depending on the required number of channels, one or more repeaters can be set up in each area being controlled to provide communications for the dispatcher with mobile subscribers and for mobile subscribers with one another. Depending on the proposed number of subscribers and network load, the repeaters may work either in the IP Site Connect conventional multi-site work mode, or in the  Linked Capacity Plus trunking mode (a mode of dynamically assigning channels on demand). Depending on the system’s requirements for reliability, redundancy for the most important components can be provided.

A typical solution for the organization of a dispatcher radio communications system is shown in the drawing below. This solution uses MOTOTRBO digital radio communications equipment and SmartPTT software to perform the functions of scheduling, recording conversations and flexible call- and channel switching. MOTOTRBO uses TDMA temporal compression technology, allowing the number of users on repeater channels to be doubled and the occupied frequency resource to be halved, reducing costs for basic equipment. It enables you to make two concurrent calls via a single channel or to transfer data through the first slot, while using the second slot for voice communication.

pic_oil_gas_deposits

Organization diagram of SmartPTT-based dispatcher radio communications

The radio network architecture may vary, but generally this is a multi-site system with repeaters set up so as to ensure full radio coverage of the deposit area. This architecture is based on IP technology which allows repeaters to be joined to one another and ensure their interaction under SmartPTT management, and also dispatcher’ workstation and IP network radio server to be arranged at any distance from the repeaters and carry out remote monitoring, management and configuration of repeaters from a single administration center. The SmartPTT radio server provides voice and data transmission between mobile subscribers and the dispatcher, and also performs the following functions:

  • Channel switching between repeaters at various sites;
  • Integration of the radio communications technology system with the corporate telephone system;
  • Recording conversations and logging all system events;
  • Status monitoring and remote administration of repeaters.

The system uses “roaming”, that is, transition from one repeater to another, for uninterruptible communications with teams when moving between facilities. Roaming is implemented in the system for uninterruptible communications with teams when moving between objects – transition from one base station to another without the subscriber switching channels. There is also the option to reconfigure the communications network into separate groups, for example, when carrying out specialized work.

In situations where it is impossible to connect the repeater set up at a remote deposit site (repeater 3 in the drawing) to the system via IP channels, an option is used with communication via MOTOTRBO control stations connected to the SmartPTT server. At the same time voice information and data are only transmitted on the radio channel.

Organization of dispatcher’s automated workstation with SmartPTT dispatcher console installed allows for the provision of:

  • All types of calls: dispatcher, radio user and ATS user;
  • Automatic search for user being called at all sites;
  • Registration tracking of radio stations on the system;
  • Remote monitoring of radio stations;
  • Checking of location of users;
  • Recording and monitoring of all conversations;
  • Logging of events in the database;
  • Link between system dispatchers.

Thanks to the flexible mechanism of multi-channel processing and output of sounds from different sources (channels, subscribers, groups) a dispatcher console can replace an entire pool of subscriber radio stations which would have required a dispatcher for the efficient management of several work areas or groups of users.

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