An optimal signal reception must be assured for many user actions: A quick call to discuss an agenda again, checking your e-mails quickly or reading news via a mobile app. To enable this, the correct orientation of mobile communication antennas is required, including in the parameters of position and height as well as in the horizontal orientation, the so-called azimuth angle. Already during the planning of the mobile communication network, a certain azimuth viewing direction is determined for each antenna, because only a certain area is illuminated with the mobile communication data (coverage). The antennas are checked at regular intervals and the results are documented accordingly. Such orders are usually issued by the mobile communication operators themselves. A correct recording has two important reasons. Firstly: The antenna can be better utilized if the planning requirements are met. Secondly: The sites that require compliance with the planning values are approved by the regulatory authorities.
The company Kathrein provides tools for the orientation and inspection of mobile communication antennas. The Rosenheim-based specialist for antenna systems and communication technology has been operating since 1919 and today employs far more than 6,000 people.
Fieldbook E1 provides optimal conditions for use
Two hardware components are used when orienting and inspecting the antennas. A sensor unit, which is attached to the mobile communication antenna, measures and records the GPS data. The information is sent via Wi-Fi to the sturdy tablet Fieldbook E1 from Logic Instrument. Data from the location and project is entered in the pre-installed, in-house Kathrein app. Additional information is provided by the barcodes on the back of the antennas, which can be read out thanks to the integrated barcode scanner of the Fieldbook E1.
The advantages: It provides for an easy wireless documentation that is compact and lightweight at the same time. In addition, the application can be in operation for up to six hours with the Fieldbook E1. The technicians from Kathrein require a maximum of ten minutes per antenna to compare the actual and desired azimuth alignment and to review the parameters of position and height.
Error rate reduced to a minimum
Since January 2014, Kathrein has been offering a tool consisting of Kathrein software and Logic Instrument hardware for the GPS-based orientation of mobile communication antennas. Prior to this, Kathrein already had a mechanical alignment tool in the portfolio. "For the documentation, a high fixed point was adopted, a map was looked at and the azimuth angle was determined using binoculars. We absolutely wanted to use GPS to allow a more accurate alignment of mobile communications antennas in the sector," says Stefan Reichelt, product manager at Kathrein. The error rate was reduced to a minimum with the Fieldbook E1 and the in-house Kathrein app. Additionally, you can use the equipment to immediately show stored GPS parameters on a map and integrate photos of the location directly in the report. The report can be saved as a secured PDF or XML and sent directly as an e-mail.
Fully functional in adverse conditions
In addition to the accurate detection, the extreme robustness of the tablet is also convincing: The Fieldbook E1 is resistant to impacts, vibrations, temperature shocks and salt spray and is resistant to the penetration of liquids and dust. This is evidenced by the certifications according to IP65 and MIL-STD810. It also withstands drops up to a height of 1.80 meters. Reichelt: "The device showed off during our internal tests. It worked flawlessly, even at -20 degrees Celsius. Comparable products already gave in at -6° C. The device can be used in all weather conditions: rain, cold, sunlight. It perfectly meets our high standards." Even working on masts at a height of 300 meters, the tablet worked impeccably.