Cellular Telemetry Presentation

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Paul Birkel, Wastewater Engineering Thought Leader, Invited to Present Webinar on Cellular Telemetry

Paul Birkel, PE, a Senior Vice President and a Director of Wastewater Engineering at Wright-Pierce, will be the featured presenter for a special technical webinar to be held on Monday, March 24 in conjunction with the IT & Automation Committee of the New England Water Environment Association. "Cellular Telemetry – Yet Another Communication Option in Our Toolbox” will be Paul’s topic, with a focus on the Falmouth, Maine upgrade to their 28 remote wastewater pump station telemetry system.

Originally, the wastewater treatment facility utilized an older VHF radio-based telemetry system installed in 1984.  Having served the community well for almost 30 years, the system was near the end of its useful life.  Several issues drove the need for upgrading the system including:  FCC changes requiring narrow band communications and existing radios not having the digital designators required by the FCC to demonstrate compliance; the original OEM is no longer in business creating issues with spare parts availability and service; and the failure of a critical part, the main communications circuit board (an Aquatrol part and no longer in manufacture or available), would severely limit access to data and impact emergency response. Options considered included VHF, UHF and spread spectrum radios and cellular communications.

A radio path survey was conducted to establish predicted signal strength and reliability of a traditional radio system and define the location for necessary repeaters to obtain information from the most difficult to reach stations. In considering the feasibility and reliability of a cellular-based system, extensive bench and field testing was conducted to quantify signal strength and assess the amount of data to be transmitted and how to best configure polling to limit the cost of data transmitted while providing a reasonable polling frequency. Paul will present the assessment of the economics and life cycle cost between the two viable systems (Cellular and VHF) and explain the rationale used in the decision making process and how the system is working.
Paul Birkel, PE, has more than 25 years of experience in municipal wastewater engineering, with a significant interest in the application of instrumentation and controls for wastewater facilities.

Paul F. Birkel, PE
Senior Vice President
Wastewater Practice Group Leader

Webinar Hosts:
ISA Water/Wastewater Division in conjunction with the IT & Automation Committee of the New England Water Environment Association.

Monday, March 24, 2014 @ 2:00 pm Eastern; Duration: 45 minutes 

To register:

Free for NEWEA members and ISA WWID division members.