Liberty provides Raytheon Routers to Enable High-Speed Fibre Network for BEMS at Sprawling British Defense Evaluation and Research Site

A project linking building and environmental management systems in as many as 85 buildings forming DERA Fort Halstead, a British defense evaluation & research facility, will create one of the largest fibre optic building and access control networks in the United Kingdom. To ensure the reliability and operability of the complex, ABC systems turned to Liberty Control Networks who supplied fibre optic routers manufactured by Raytheon Control-By-Lightä.

Built in 1895, the Halstead facility is one of thirteen original sites developed by the British War Office to defend London against the territorial ambitions of Napoleon. The ring of forts protected 70 miles of British territory and naval bases between London and the coast. The historic building is now a principal site for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), an agency of the UK Ministry of Defense and a Center of Excellence for science, technology and evaluation. DERA, whose efforts to ensure that the highest standards of quality and service are maintained in support of UK defense, fulfills its role by managing world-class science and technology assets with superior solutions at the lowest possible cost.

The fibre optic network being installed at Fort Halstead will significantly improve the efficiency of the building controls system by linking together buildings by way of a state of the art LonWorks network.

The network designed by Liberty Control Networks, Ltd. of St. Austell, England, in conjunction with ABC Systems employs 13,000metres of fibre to connect 85 out of a total of 181 buildings. Raytheon Control-By-Light routers have already been installed in the first 15 buildings.

Because of Fort Halstead's size and the number of buildings involved, systems integrator Advanced Building Controls Systems Ltd. wanted to install the highest quality LonWorks control network, without limitations of length. A fibre optic backbone with Raytheon Control-By-Light routers was the ideal solution for the Fort Halstead project.
"Raytheon Control-By-Light is the only complete fibre-based solution for Echelon's LonWorks distributed sensing and control technology. Fibre's higher bandwidth makes data communication clear and ultra-reliable at distances up to 30 km without repeaters, compared to a 130metre limit for twisted pair wire with 1.25Mb/s throughput", said David Parker, Liberty's Managing Director. Raytheon's FTR Fibre Optic/Twisted Pair Routers can be used to create links and backbones that connect copper-based systems or fibre-based systems to the fibre optic backbone. Plus, they're simple to install and will run right out of the box.

By transmitting critical information via light rather than electricity, fibre is an intrinsically safe and highly reliable medium that requires less maintenance than traditional twisted pair technology. It is 100 percent tamper-proof and immune to lightning, electromagnetic interference, radio frequency interference, chemical corrosion or other hazards present at a large defense research facility. 

Raytheon Control-By-Light components also features built-in ring redundancy and signal level monitoring on every link. For maximum performance and reliability, Control-By-Light systems are configured to operate in a "ring," whereas most wire-based systems operate linearly. The system's "ring architecture" connects smart sensors and actuators with Raytheon's single fibre networks, ensuring a continuous redundant information path with extensive built-in diagnostics. As a result, critical data will always be captured and communicated over longer distances, without repeaters, despite localized failure of any link.

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