No bull: Riedel takes to the skies for Red Bull Air Race World Series

Riedel Communications is soaring as the official global supplier of the Red Bull Air Race World Series. Riedel, the leading manufacturer of intercom systems and one of the world’s biggest rental services for wireless and wired communications solutions, is at the forefront of the event providing the entire communications solutions, integrating both wireless and wired digital intercom systems. Additionally, Riedel is supplying the wireless video links for the race planes’ onboard cameras enabling stunning pictures to be delivered from the pilots’ perspectives.

Riedel delivered six containers with approximately 11 tons of communication equipment to the Red Bull Air Race World Series.

“To ensure mission-critical communications, we designed a system that leveraged the best of both wired and wireless communications,” explains Thomas Riedel, managing director of Riedel Communications. “We are enabling the communications of over 650 people involved with each Red Bull Air Race. Everyone from the pilot to security and referees are utilizing our state-of-the-art system.”

All audio signal distribution throughout the races have been engineered with an Artist 128 network consisting of three nodes connected via a dual redundant fiber ring. The three frames are located in the Air Race control tower, the TV compound and the organization compound. At a day-time open air event like this, the special 8-digit LED display keys of the Artist 1000 series allows clear labeling of destinations and excellent readability under all lighting conditions including direct sunlight for all 70 RCP-1028E/O panels. In addition, the Artist 1000 panels provide broadcast quality audio and individual listen level control for each talk key. Four PMX-2008s, designed for panel distribution and transport of audio signals, are providing a cost-effective solution to minimize setup time with eight BNCs to connect to the matrix panels using a fiber link. Over four miles of fiber is being utilized to serve as the race’s audio and video backbone.

The Matrix intercom system is seamlessly integrated with Riedel’s Digital Trunked Radio installation (TETRA). TETRA combines the advantages of analog trunked radio with those of digital mobile radio, resulting in optimal frequency usage, the highest transmission quality for speech and data, maximum security against eavesdropping, as well as flexible networking and connection management. Additionally, digital trunked radio offers full duplex communication, GPS-positioning and connection to the public telephone network or company telephone systems. Over 450 Motorola MTH800’s are being utilized to assist in the production of the races. Additional walkie-talkie radio systems are connected to the wired communication systems through 20 of Riedel’s universal radio interface RiFace.

Spectacular views of the Red Bull Air Races come directly from the cockpits with 28 wireless video links. On-board cameras capture live footage from the pilot’s perspective, but it’s Riedel that ensures the secure signal transmission for video and audio. A special engineered six-channel diversity receiver combining technologies of various manufacturers guarantees the secure signal transmission of audio and video event during the most extreme flight maneuvers. Four ground cameras are also being utilized as well as two Cineplex high definition cameras in helicopters.

Riedel is also providing the most appropriate IT infrastructure for the races, including Internet access, VoIP telephone, network infrastructure with servers and firewalls and a media center for journalists. Optical fiber cables are important mediums for signal transport and communication used throughout the race. Riedel has installed the complete fiber network for all locations of the event. Audio, video and data communications are being distributed throughout the fiber network. Each race uses both the location itself and the airport, which is typically miles away; Riedel is providing a digital wireless data connection between both locations with extreme high bandwith. This link transports HD camera signals, audio, video, VoIP, radio, intercom and Internet connections.