16.12.14

Canberra Airport fitted with Tannoy system by Rutledge AV

AUTHOR: Inavate

Canberra Airport has invested a total of $480 million on a complete redevelopment titled ‘AirVolution’. Rutledge AV was commissioned to design, install and deliver the Western Concourse Public Address and Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System (EWIS) for Stage 2 of Canberra Airport.

Being a modern structure meant that the project came with its own set of unique challenges. For example, the use of 279 glazes panels in the airport atrium make designing an audio system hard. The combination of the physical space and surfaces, ambient noise levels, speaker selection, quantity and placement would all affect the overall sound pressure level (SPL) and speech transmission index (STI) performance relevant to the Australian Standard AS1670.4.

Detailed EASE modelling, in conjunction with Tannoy’s regional distributor APG, to ensure optimal placement of speakers was employed. To ensure intelligibility Tannoy’s digital beam steering column array, QFlex, was chosen. Using Qflex BeamEngine, system designers are able to model a given environment and create customised ‘steering files’ for each QFlex array, ensuring that audio is distributed in a controlled and co-ordinated manner between QFlex units, minimising acoustic reflections and targeting the audio on the areas required.

A total of two QFlex 32 devices mounted either-side of the entrance hall and two QFlex 32s airside, along with another QFlex 40 were installed.

The aesthetics of the speakers was a major consideration in the equipment selection to ensure they would work in harmony with the built environment. Several iterations of the design and model were required to conform with the architectural requirements. In some cases these steered array speakers were concealed behind ‘dummy’ mechanical grilles to appease the building design.

Elsewhere, 300 of Tannoy’s CMS 601BM have been deployed on the concourse, restaurant and departure gates to provide even coverage throughout the terminal. The CMS 601 is a ceiling monitor system; a mid-sized unit that is specifically designed for applications requiring the combination of sonic performance for music and speech reinforcement and reliability.

To maintain a safe environment at the airport, Rutledge AV installed an effective audio digital signal processing (DSP) system. One of the biggest challenges was the cutover of the system in a public facility that operates for the most of the day. Biamp VOCIA headend system operational by morning, cutover to the existing Klotz system to overcome this challenge.