Being appointed host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup signalled the demolition of Moscow’s original Luzhniki Stadium to make way for the construction of a new one…

Luzhniki StadiumAt the close of 2015, a tender document was drawn up for the 81,000-seat replacement stadium, with technological requirements detailed by Moscow integration specialists S-Pro Systems, together with the German company Broadcast Solution. At the heart of the network broadcast transmission are 57 Optocore and BroaMan fibre-optic interfaces, designed in a ‘star’ out of the ring topology, and supplied by Audio Solutions.

After the bid was accepted, Moscow-based distributor became involved in the project as an S-Pro partner, with responsibility for equipment supply and warranty service management of the whole system. The company was able to demonstrate the advantages of producing a site-wide multi-node fibre transmission system and broadcast/multi-format links to the OB vans.

According to Igor Kovalev, who manages Audio Solutions’ Pro Audio Department, ‘Optocore and BroaMan create a perfect synergy, providing an extremely robust optical network system for audio transport and auto routing functionality. Optocore I/O modules also have a wide working temperature range, which was one of the important criteria for choosing equipment for this project.’

The Optocore system was designed around two main nodes – the stadium patch panel room in the OB Van area for multi-signal conversion to Madi, and the Media Control Room.

Luzhniki Stadium

For the first, various Optocore X6R-FX, X6R-TP V3R-FX and V3R-FX-TP converters were fitted with MI (Mic-In) and LO (Line Out) cards, while an Optocore M8-BNC allows OB van Madi connection with additional feature of Emulation Mode to control on-site Optocore mic preamps directly from the van’s console. In the Media Control Room there is a Yamaha 02R96 digital console equipped with an Optocore Y3R-TP Yamaha card, enabling it to work with Optocore’s proprietary SANE protocol.

Kovalev explains that the system needed to uplink the environmental bowl sound (the stadium crowd noise) with the Optocore modules bundled in the technical racks positioned around the playing field perimeter, to integrate with the intercom systems of the technical personnel (achieved by using Optocore’s dedicated V3R-FX-Intercom), and to integrate with the stadium’s sound reinforcement system. Additionally, it had to integrate with the stadium’s patch panel room and media room, which comprises all the multi-media signals, and alsofinally to integrate with the commentator’s communication system.

With the Optocore systems distributed across the stadium, various tasks in terms of audio maintenance could be implemented with all events taking place (other than football matches).

To expedite broadcast requirements Audio Solutions turned to Optocore associate company BroaMan, which exploits the power of Optocore. Two of the new Route66 AutoRouters are stacked, with each fibre node connected independently through the Route66. ‘The combination of redundancy and ability to close the Optocore loop automatically when active devices are added or disconnected, are the main advantages of the BroaMan Route66 Auto Routers,’ Kovalev says.

The installation also takes advantage of economies, for example the Optocore TP devices are separated and placed up to 50m above the main FX devices – resulting in the need for fewer FX devices and less fibre.

The system, which conforms to all worldwide broadcast standards, has won the approval of The Big Sport Arena Luzhniki and Kovalev says that with the successful fulfilment of signal conversion and audio/data transport – with the delivery of pristine, low latency audio – all objectives have been met.

‘The great advantage of an Optocore solution is that there is no interference from power cable runs, perfect EMR isolation and it has extremely flexible functionality, with the ability to handle any audio transport tasks with ease, over long distances,’ he concludes.

The team responsible for the audio design comprised Andrey Matveev (S-Pro), Evgeniy Stepanenko (Broadcast Solution), Pavel Pyshkin (S-Pro) and Ivan Khizhnyak (S-Pro). S-Pro’s project managers were Sergey Manserov and Grigory Yurov.

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