Most RF transmission plants around the world have the means to measure forward and reflected power, and obtain samples of the RF signal being transmitted. However, the vast majority of these systems still use analog techniques to convert the RF signal into a DC level, which in turn is displayed as power, in watts or kilowatts. Unfortunately, these techniques are not adequate for digital broadcasting.
Those old RF display panels have long been considered essential for monitoring the operation of the RF plant, especially as the numbers of technical staff began to decline.
Engineers adopted methods to ‘remote’ the readings back to the studio, monitoring the transmission plant and the studio program delivery system with fewer personnel. But like the simple wattmeters, these analog methods of telemetry do not work adequately within the new digital realities.
Today, sadly, engineering staff continue to decline in numbers. More and more stations operate with fewer and fewer dedicated technical personnel, while the need to remotely monitor even more digital information, from studios as well as the transmission plant, continues to increase.
The demand for centralized monitoring using Network Management Systems (NMS) is now very common.
But, how to best upgrade existing RF plants and infrastructure to today’s demanding, remotely controlled and monitored digital world? JASMOS™ can help solve these issues.
Our approach has been to take several Command & Control constructs, proven over decades of use by the Automation Industry, and apply these solutions to the Digital Broadcast Industry. This unique approach provides an open, scalable, and economical system of exceptional flexibility and reliability.
Although still a bit new to Broadcasters, the “digital world” has been known to the Automation Industry for decades. They were the early adopters of PLC’s (Programmable Logic Controller), HMI’s (Human Machine Interface), networking, and remote control (Telemetry or SCADA). Their network structures are fully defined, standardized, and field proven; and the interfaces are understood, non-proprietary, readily available, and cost effective.
Differences obviously exist between Automation and Digital Broadcasting, so our solutions required their own approach, using the proven tools at hand.
For example, although the Automation Industry has a vast array of sensors already available, these are tailored primarily for machines used in the manufacture of parts, not to monitor an RF transmission stream. Proper sensors were missing for the Broadcast Industry, and this lack needed to be addressed.