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Red Bull Air Race Takes Off With Riedel

Britain's Paul Bonhomme won the 2009 Red Bull Air Race World Championship with a thrilling victory in the final race of the season in Barcelona in front of a record crowd of 800,000 spectators, holding off a ferocious challenge from defending champion Hannes Arch of Austria.
In Barcelona with temperatures around 25 degrees, Bonhomme won after a brilliant performance in the final on the 6.4km long track through a challenging 15-Air Gate obstacle course set up just metres above the surface of the Mediterranean Sea.
For the sixth year in a row, Riedel Communications is serving as the official global supplier of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Riedel, the leading manufacturer of intercom, fiber and audio systems and one of the world's biggest rental services for wireless and wired communications solutions, is at the forefront of the event providing the entire communications and signal distribution solutions, integrating both HD video and audio signals as well as wireless and wired digital intercom systems.
Additionally, Riedel is supplying the wireless video links for the race planes' onboard cameras enabling stunning pictures to be delivered from the pilots' perspectives.
The demands on the technical infrastructure of such a production, which includes the set-up of a mobile airport including a control tower, are enormous. The signal distribution infrastructure for video, audio, communications and data of such a production plays a key role, since it directly affects all other areas of the production. Since the 2009 season this infrastructure is based on Riedel MedioNet, a new fiber signal transport solution that includes routing and signal processing.
The communications and video signal infrastructure of the Air Race production in Barcelona covered large areas. Video signals were needed at several locations for various applications such as the broadcast production, race control or video wall production. Therefore MediorNet's network approach, which is capable of point-to-point and multipoint routing, is the ideal basis for such applications, delivering camera signals to both the German production company SIVision with its new 16.5m 26 camera HD truck and the video production for the events video wall production.
The fiber-optic signal backbone of the event was based on seven MediorNet nodes, which transported all intercom, HD video and audio signals uncompressed in real-time. Audio signals were interfaced via MADI and Riedel's digital audio network solution RockNet. This allowed the seamless integration of the event's main Yamaha audio mixing console, which provided the mix for the live audience. The events communications infrastructure was based on an Artist Digital Matrix Intercom network consisting of seven nodes connected via a dual redundant fiber ring. The seven frames were located in the Air Race control tower, the TV compound, the organisation compound and at the race airport. At a day-time open air event like this. the special 8-digit LED display keys of the Artist 1000 series allows clear labeling of destinations and excellent readability under all lighting conditions including direct sunlight for all 130 RCP-1028 panels. In addition, the Artist 1000 panels provide broadcast quality audio and individual listen level control for each talk key.
The Matrix intercom system was seamlessly integrated with Riedel's Digital Trunked Radio installation (TETRA). TETRA combines the advantages of analog trunked radio with those of digital mobile radio, resulting in optimal frequency usage, the highest transmission quality for speech and data, maximum security against eavesdropping, as well as flexible networking and connection management. Additionally, digital trunked radio offers full duplex communication, GPS-positioning and connection to the public telephone network or company telephone systems. Over 550 Motorola MTH800s were utilised to assist in the production of the races. Additional walkie-talkie radio systems were connected to the wired communication systems through 30 of Riedel's universal radio interface RiFace.
The Barcelona air race used both the event location at Park del Poblenou and the airport, which was in the city of Sabadell, about 25km away. To connect both locations, Riedel provided a digital wireless data connection between both locations with extreme high bandwidth. This link transports HD camera signals, audio, video, VoIP, radio, intercom and internet connections.
Riedel is also providing the most appropriate IT infrastructure for all Red Bull Air Races, including internet access, VoIP telephone, network infrastructure with servers and firewalls and a media centre for journalists.
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