TenneT TSO solves radio communication turbulence at Rotterdam airport14 September 2021

In January 2021, the Dutch Radio Communications Agency informed European electricity transmission system operator TenneT that interference coming from one of the substations it managed and maintained was causing a communication problem between air traffic control and pilots on all incoming flights from the UK at Rotterdam The Hague Airport. TenneT undertook further investigations to identify the potential root-causes of the interference.

While initial audible and visual inspections showed no abnormal findings, a partial discharge inspection, conducted using the Fluke ii910 precision acoustic imager, immediately identified that corona discharge was responsible for a 10-20 second communication blackout between ground staff and pilots.

“The Fluke ii910 precision acoustic imager proved invaluable in helping to quickly and easily identify the partial discharge issue,” says Roel Van Hees, operational maintenance engineer at TenneT. “In the past, we would have had to listen and/or use an ultraviolet (UV) camera, which are slow and inefficient methods compared to the Fluke ii910.With its wide view, the Fluke ii910 enabled us to quickly scan an entire substation and identify the partial discharge places of concern.”

Following identification of the issue, maintenance work at the substation was undertaken to fix the areas suffering from corona discharge. As a result, all communication has been restored between the airport control tower and pilots.

Tako Feron, product manager, acoustic imaging, at Fluke Corporation, said: “Roel Van Hees was part of a working group that helped to test and feedback on the product during its development. Its feedback was invaluable in helping us to address some of the pain points they face on a daily basis, and we continue to work with the group to add new features to the software.”

Operations Engineer

Related Companies
Fluke (UK) Ltd

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