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Flanders Bringing DAB+ to Tunnels

Project will ensure drivers can be reached with emergency alerts

Photo courtesy SPIE Belgium

Belgian infrastructure companies SPIE Belgium and Jacops NV are partnering to ensure DAB+ signals can be heard in tunnels across Flanders. The project was commissioned by the Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, which is responsible for motorways, regional roads and cycle paths in the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium.

Tunnels always present a problem for radio waves, but the use of repeater systems and special antenna systems help keep drivers entertained and informed as they travel underwater and underground. For AWV, ensuring digital radio broadcasts are received in tunnels means being able to easily target drivers with emergency information, including with visual warnings on in-dash displays.

“This project is an important step in the modernization of the road infrastructure in Flanders. In addition to optimizing the sound and radio frequency range, DAB+ will bring tangible improvements in road safety thanks to targeted emergency notifications in tunnels,” stated Norman Kabir, business development manager at SPIE Belgium.

Previously the tunnels were fitted with repeater systems for ASTRID, the Belgian public safety communications system for police, fire, and other emergency services and first responders. The DAB+ project covers installation of repeater systems for DAB+, as well as maintenance and upgrading of these radio systems.

SPIE Project Manager Michael Spronck said that an engineering study for the Leonardtunnel in Tervuren is being finalized and four other tunnel radio renewals are in the planning stage.