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Data Acquisition Application Brief

Radiocommunications Agency

Affiliation


British Department of Trade and Industry

Description


The Radiocommunications Agency monitors and manages public and private radio transmission throughout the UK. The Agency set out to evaluate activity in the VHF (very high frequency) PMR (private mobile radio) high band used by emergency medical services, local government councils and private businesses.

Location


London and Hertfordshire, England

Mobile Radio Usage

The Problem


As part of the British Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Radiocommunications Agency monitors and manages public and private radio transmission throughout the UK. The Agency set out to evaluate activity in the VHF (very high frequency) PMR (private mobile radio) high band used by emergency medical services, local government councils and private businesses. While monitoring user occupancy in the VHF PMR was a fairly straightforward project, analyzing the volume of acquired data proved daunting.

High Volume Data


The Agency's Mobile Monitoring Section set up six unattended monitoring systems between the city center and the M25, the major highway artery encircling the metropolitan area. A seventh manned monitoring system was activated in London's Hyde Park. For thirteen weeks each of these monitoring systems collected 12 megabytes of ASCII data on more than 300 radio channels.

Finding the Right Tool


According to the Agency's Quality Manager, Kevin Mylan, the spreadsheet and database software they were using "proved to be incapable of analyzing the vast amount of data we were gathering and so the search began for new software."