Canbrerra AirportAirVolution is the largest private sector investment in Canberra’s history – a massive $480m redevelopment of the city’s airport that has won it the accolade of Australia’s Airport of the Year.

Part of the project is an innovative A/V installation from Rutledge AV that uses the best of Tannoy’s digital beam steering technology that covers the airports 55,000-sq-m, providing announcement and emergency services.

Canberra Airport atriumBeing a modern structure meant Canberra Airport presented some complex A/V challenges given the expansive spaces. The airport’s stunning atrium is a particularly complex space, given its volume and extensive glass surfaces. Rutledge AV was commissioned to design, install and deliver the Western Concourse Public Address and Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System (EWIS) for Stage 2 of the project. This system would also need to integrate into the airport’s existing systems to ensure airport wide communication from a central control point.

This required detailed Ease modelling to ensure optimal placement of speakers. As a result of the initial assessment of the project requirements and, based on the assumption of an ambient noise level of 85dB, Rutledge AV understood the atrium would be a difficult acoustic space, a highly reverberant area that would present challenges for any loudspeaker. The combination of the physical space and surfaces, ambient noise levels, speaker selection, quantity and placement would all affect the overall sound pressure level (SPL) and speech transmission index (STI) performance relevant to the Australian Standard AS1670.4.

The solution lay in digital beam steering – specifically, Tannoy’s QFlex column array. Using the Qflex BeamEngine, system designers are able to model a given environment and create customised ‘steering files’ for each QFlex array, ensuring that audio is distributed in a highly controlled and co-ordinated manner between QFlex units, minimising acoustic reflections and targeting the audio exactly on the areas required.

Rutledge AV is adept in the use of computer modelling to achieve optimal sound in challenging environments, and looked to complex simulations to recreate the spaces to assess speakers, positions and angles and ultimately come up with the opimum design. To achieve sufficient coverage for the atrium the company used Ease modelling and worked in collaboration with Tannoy regional distributor APG to model optons for the airport to ensure the best speech intelligibility and compliance with regulations, as well as being sympathetic to its architecture.

Canberra AirportRutledge AV was able to provide even coverage to every area, using just two QFlex 32 devices mounted either-side of the entrance hall and two QFlex 32s airside, along with another QFlex 40. The aesthetics of the speakers was a major consideration in the equipment selection to ensure they would work in harmony with the built environment. Several iterations of the design and model were required to conform with the architectural requirements. In some cases these steered array speakers were concealed behind ‘dummy’ grilles to work with the building design.

Elsewhere, 300 Tannoy CMS 601BM have been installed on the concourse, in the restaurant and at the departure gates to provide even coverage throughout the terminal. The CMS 601 is a full-bandwidth, high-power ceiling monitor system; a mid-sized unit that is specifically designed for applications requiring the combination of higher quality sonic performance for music and speech reinforcement and exceptional reliability – an ideal candidate for a venue like Canberra Airport

Airports are the world’s busiest activity centres with communications being fundamental to their operational success. To maintain a safe environment at the airport, Rutledge AV not only installed an effective audio digital signal processing (DSP) system that is unobtrusive and meets all relevant Australian standards but one that assists to provide an efficient and safe airport environment. One of the biggest challenges was the cutover of the system in a public facility that operates for the most of the day.

The commissioning team worked overnight to have the Biamp Vocia head-end system operational by morning, cutover to the existing Klotz system. The night work was also necessary to undertake the required EVAC testing of the system and the cutover required coordination to ensure that the other trades and stakeholders were onsite at the time (such as the fire service contractor).

Canberra AirportThe fire services needed to program the fire panel that is integrated with the paging system to trigger the EWIS in the event of an emergency. The EWIS system was required to adhere to the applicable standards and ensure that the system could address different set zones for a systematic and controlled evacuation.

‘A project of this size that operates for most of the day in a public environment meant that the Rutledge AV commissioning team worked overnight to have the new system operational by morning,’ says Rutledge AV CEO, Andrew Morrice. ‘The night work was also necessary to undertake the required EVAC testing, and the cutover required precise coordination with the client to ensure that all stakeholders were on line at the same time.’

New advancements in QFlex technology serve these PA/VA environments well, including Sentinel for fault monitoring and reporting, and an Ethernet bridge to allow for distributed rack systems. ‘Tannoy has firmly established QFlex as the solution of choice in major transportation hubs in the UK and abroad, and forthcoming innovations will only add to an already extensive feature set and underline Tannoy’s ongoing commitment to be at the forefront of the steerable and architectural audio market,’ says Tannoy Product Manager, Stuart Archibald. ‘This innovation, unbeatable sonic clarity and overall user experience make QFlex the most compelling choice for any application where intelligibility in a reverberant space is a paramount

The full installation used four Tannoy QFlex 32 columns and one QFlex 40 column, along with 330 Tannoy CMS 601BM, all served by a Biamp Vocia Master System

TwitterGoogle BookmarksRedditLinkedIn Pin It An independent news site and blog for professional audio and related businesses, provides a platform for discussion and information exchange in one of the world's fastest-moving technology-based industries.
Fast Touch:
Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fast Thinking:Marketing:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: Latitude Hosting