Acoustic Technology Inc. (ATI Systems), implemented an innovative acoustic Emergency Public Address (PA) System, designed to address the specific needs of the Ohio River Bridge East End Crossing Tunnel.
This system uses IP communication to provide safety, evacuation messaging, and emergency services radio re-broadcast systems in the event of an emergency.
During emergencies, this system will initially allow for intelligible live PA with the option of adding prerecorded messages at a later date.
Achieving reasonable and effective speech intelligibility in a tunnel presents a clear challenge to the design of an adequate PA system. A tunnel environment is highly susceptible to ambient noise and echo, which can significantly affect the performance of a PA system.
Ideally, PA speakers should have a wide bandwidth of 125 Hz to 8 kHz sound wave frequency and sufficient speaker power to provide sound levels 15 dB above the complex tunnel background noise.
This performance level is considered to be the minimum required for adequate speech transmission according to NFPA 72.
For this project, ATI designed an innovative acoustic system, the first of its kind in the United States, that uses directional loudspeakers to maximize direct sound to motorists in the tunnel.
System equipment includes:
- 1 speaker inside the tunnel control building to provide an interface to the radio rebroadcast system, allowing system operators to override the radio channels of motorists in the tunnel
- 5 speakers in the northbound and southbound tunnels
- 2 speakers in each of the cross passageways
- Main CCU inside the tunnel control building to control the OSUs
- 5 CCUs in several offsite locations to provide redundant and additional monitoring of ATI’s Emergency Notification System
The speakers project sound longitudinally down the tunnel.
Each speaker can provide up to 400 watts of acoustic power in order to overcome the traffic and ventilation noises. Speakers are positioned along the centerline of the tunnel and aimed opposite to the traffic direction.
During the system commissioning, power for each individual speaker was adjusted to reach maximum intelligibility. The system testing indicated a great deal of success in providing excellent intelligibility and acoustic balance to compensate for the noisy and reverberant environment of the tunnel.
Canam Technology (CTI), who pioneered rebroadcast technology and developed the first ever AM tunnel rebroadcast system in 1962, worked jointly with ATI to provide the tunnel’s integrated Emergency Alert system.
In November, ATI Systems, installed a new Wide- Area Mass Notification Warning System using redundant communication, UHF radio frequency and IP communication to provide emergency communication for the New Jersey State Police Division Headquarters and Regional Operations Intelligence Center (NJ ROIC), in West Trenton, NJ.
Acoustic Technology Inc. (ATI Systems) is a world leader in the design, manufacturing, and installation of reliable emergency warning and notification systems for the campus, community, industrial, and military markets.
ATI has developed innovative wireless systems that provide intelligible voice and visual warnings via a simple and compact hardware design, user-friendly software, and the latest communication methods, including radio frequency, IP Ethernet, and satellite technology.
ATI’s Mass Notification Systems easily integrate with other warning systems to provide more complete solutions. ATI is an ISO 9001 certified company.