Kuwait Television, part of Kuwait’s Ministry of Information (MOI), has invested in two digital satellite newsgathering (DSNG) vehicles supplied and kitted out by Cogent Technologies and TVC.
Kuwait Television is Kuwait's official state-run television station. Television has 4 channels and a satellite channel: KTV1, KTV2, KTV Sport, Al Araby Channel, and Ethra's Channel.KTV1 launched in 1992 and broadcasts Kuwaiti-produced programmes around the world.
THE MISSION: KTV wanted to modernise its fleet of DSNG vehicles and infrastructure so that it could migrate its live broadcast operations to HD. KTV contracted UK-based satellite broadcast specialist Cogent Technologies and TVC, a Lithuanian specialist in outside broadcast technology to supply two fully-equipped DSNG vehicles to help achieve its aims.
Cogent Technologies and TVC supplied two OB vehicles and integrated technology including DSNG terminal microwave link systems, vehicle mount satellite systems and fly-away satellite systems. They also designed, manufactured and integrated the DSNG terminals onto the vehicles, and performed a complete range of engineering training and operator support services.
Two products within the “Satlinks’’ range were used for integration on vehicles, including a 1.2 metre antenna fitted on a GMC SUV vehicle and a 1.5 metre antenna fitted on a Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 vehicle.
Both vehicles were configured with fully integrated uplink chains, and automatic satellite acquisition was provided via CogenTRAC control systems.
In addition to the supplied vehicles, Cogent supplied an ‘ExpresSat’ flyaway terminal plus a large number of CogentLink 2HD link systems. The extreme climate of Kuwait was of special concern and, with temperatures reaching 52 ͦC ambient during the summer months.
The first unit is based on SUV GMC Yukon 4x4, which carries two portable Honda 6kW generators. The uplink chain is fully redundant with two 400w high power amplifiers (HPAs) feeding a compact 1.2 m Ku-band antenna.
TVC in cooperation with Cogent Technologies supplied a turnkey solution encompassing vehicle acquisition, coach-build, electrical design and installation, systems design, systems integration and operator training services. The delivered project will enable Kuwait TV news to add more live broadcasts into its daily news programming.
The second DSNG unit is built on 4x4 Mercedes Sprinter 515 van. The long wheelbase van offers enough space for three complete workplaces. There is more room in rear cargo section for additional mobile equipment. The truck body is specially isolated to GCC region climatic conditions with extra body insulation. The truck carries fully redundant equipment and is built on a five tonne chassis. The van is modified adding levelling jacks, roof mount triple tropicalised air conditioning system up to +52⁰C (13500 Btu) plus external lightning system. The coach modifications by TVC also include the installation of on-board diesel generator Fischer Panda 15kVA and UPS 10 kVA, enabling the truck to work anywhere in Arab gulf.
The satellite feed from the van is via a 1.5 meter Cogent sat dish, with Ericsson encoding and two rack mounted 400W high power amplifiers with 1:1 auto redundancy. Vehicle is equipped with an auto-deploy satellite antenna customised to operate with specific Middle East-targeted satellites Arabsat, Eutalsat, Intelsat and others. For RF spectrum analyzer Rohde & Schwarz FSL18 is used.
Mindaugas Kryžanauskas, sales and project manager at TVC. said: “Our main task was to build both trucks durable for GCC challenging harshest environments. GMC Yukon is the perfect SUV for compact SNG applications with the longest roof space in the SUV classification. Sprinter design included optimum use of the space on the roof to accommodate generator radiator, 3x air-conditioning units and the antenna within weight limit for the roof.
"The bigger truck is fitted with an on-board 15k VA Fischer Panda generator, comprising a compact and super silent three-cylinder diesel engine, which powers the vehicles for all their broadcast operations. In addition, there was requirement to have fully redundant configuration for both trucks. Due to special TVC in-house aircon development, ensure working ability under the harshest climatic conditions (up to 52° C), plus easy maintain because off the shelf parts," he added.