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Issue 21 Articles

Siemens logoCutting Edge C3 Communications

InterComms talks to Siemens who explain their new IDFS Solution

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Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) Administration User Interface
Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) Administration User Interface

Public safety, energy, transportation and security organizations – all these entities are facing the challenge of managing their operational fleets at the highest level of security, reliability and effectiveness, regardless of the network technology used. However, meeting this challenge is possible only when a state-of-the-art control center is used which enables these highly-complex operations.

A control center has to provide a vast number of features to make the dispatching process as efficient as possible, give the operator intuitive access to all the necessary information and functionalities and be easy to operate. Communication between the control center and field staff has to be reliable and always guarantee the required level of security.

Siemens’ Integrated Fixed Dispatching System (IFDS) is a cutting-edge C3 (Command Control Communication) solution, which easily integrates all network technologies and combines them with a fully-integrated Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVLS) as well as user-friendly geo-fencing features.

With IFDS, calls to different networks, such as TETRA, GSM-R, PBX, VHF, UHF or analog networks, can be easily initiated in one step. And in just one more step users can be put together in a conference call.

The solution offers comprehensive role management, and parallel roles, as those known in the GSM-R world, are transferred into the general Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) environment, allowing new user scenarios and opening up new opportunities!

IFDS offers a modern multi-network Communication Command and Control platform. It utilises all major functionalities relevant for various business segments, such as role management and call and data control features, which are enhanced by resource tracking. All these features as well as a wide range of network interfaces of multiple infrastructure providers, TETRA, GSM-R, E1/DSS1 and SIP-based PSTN/PBX networks, or analog legacy networks are integrated into a unified control system.

Connectivity options of Siemens Command Control & Communications solution
Connectivity options of Siemens Command Control & Communications solution

Its comprehensive architecture supports tailor-made solutions that meet customer-specific needs. System deployments, starting from small single-client setups, are able to be extended to nation-wide client/server configurations. This scalability allows smooth system extensions as the customer network grows.

The graphical user interface supports modern touch-screens, providing easy and intuitive access to a wide range of valuable features.

IFDS is used as a logistics and operational control center, making it possible to control and manage various resources in the field, such as staff, vehicles and vessels.

A characteristic feature of our solution is its central server with a business-logic approach, supported by thin java-based clients. With its internal IP-based architecture and packet-switched message routing strategy, it protects your investments by ensuring easy and smooth migration to an all-IP future. IFDS utilises proven IP technologies, while also supporting legacy voice interfaces (E1, analog ...). In addition, it is designed to run on widely-used COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) market hardware components, fulfilling high-reliability requirements.

Dispatching systems have many common tasks and characteristics, independent of communication technologies and application areas. Siemens IFDS has been developed on top of multi-technology and multi-vendor platforms. It inherits a wide range of proven features and functionalities of the common platform, such as role, subscriber and data management. Furthermore, it manages all data related to operational fleets, groups and individual subscribers from multiple networks and facilitates voice and data communication for the field staff, e.g. security forces, drivers, field services personnel or shunters.

The common dispatching application for various communication networks terminated directly in the IFDS server components provides unique and effective and efficient tooling for the operators.

IFDS is a comprehensive, feature-rich, highly reliable and scalable dispatching solution. It is also customisable for all industries with critical communication tasks, as for instance, the public sector, transportation and industrial environments.

Characteristics & Features of Siemens IFDS

  1. Integration of radio and IP – minimal investment and operating costs
  2. Integrated Fixed Dispatching System used for TETRA runs either as a radio dispatcher configuration, a single-line dispatcher or in a client-server architecture. In radio-dispatcher mode, it connects to the TETRA terminal, using standardized interfaces, while in line-dispatcher mode it also adapts to vendor-specific interfaces. Therefore, IFDS is highly scalable and flexible – keeping your initial investment safe long into the future.

Applications – easy integration into your network

IFDS allows the smooth integration of third-party applications into your network. It provides a simple interface and protocol for accessing all basic services and features, such as call handling and control, data handling, as well as control of and access to gateway databases. Hence, new applications can be integrated as plug-in without the need of detailed knowledge of interfaces, and they can be fully integrated into the IFDS workflow. In addition to voice dispatching control and communication capabilities, it supports integration and processing of other data sources, like, for example, tracking systems. ”Automatic Vehicle Location“ (AVL) permits the central administration of all geographical data of subscribers equipped with GPS-enabled terminals.

Enhanced function - efficient and effective

  • Dynamic train list
  • SMS/SDS text templates
  • SMS/SDS history
  • Call history
  • Background call handling
  • Event logging
  • Local voice recording
  • Configurable automatic call answering
  • Phone book and lists of favorites
  • Dynamic role management
  • Role/user-specific environment
  • Efficient alarm and control functions
  • In case of GSM-R: fully compliant to EIRENE and MORANE standards

Smart architecture - redundant and future-proof

  • Thick server/thin client architecture
  • Fully redundant server cluster
  • Based on COTS hardware

Graphical User Interface (operation client) - intuitive and easy to use

  • Direct, intuitive and user-friendly
  • Dedicated areas for call handling, audio-equipment handling, event checking, text message handling, role management and system-status monitoring
  • Intelligent support for call and SMS/SDS-handling, e.g. function number wizard for GSM-R
  • Indication of ongoing events and subscriber status
  • User and role-identification
  • Dynamic role switching
  • Enhanced drag and drop control
  • Multi-monitor support
  • Touch-screen support
  • Multi-language support
  • Pre-configurable environment
  • Several categories of operation terminals

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