At this point you should consider some high-level failure scenarios and determine how much resilience you need to build into the design. Some common approaches are:
- Back-up power source/s – generators and batteries.
- Overprovision of sites so that no single site failure has significant impact on your coverage/capacity,
- Microwave or fiber network architecture (star, ring, hybrid, hot standby), Specify seamless switchover during failure – ring architecture for backhaul system.
- Antenna system engineering, using multiple antennas, combiners and multicouplers at large sites,
- Redundant controllers, including geographically distributed ones.
More detailed decisions are made later when writing final specifications or you can request that a solution be proposed by your vendors.
When planning for failure scenarios, do not disregard solutions seemingly-unrelated to your new system’s architecture or functionality. For example, having a cache of
emergency radios rigorously maintained and programmed for a mutual aid channel may be as effective – and less expensive – as a more high-tech approach. The same can
be true about emergency transportable repeaters.
Back up power
During natural disasters, it is most often lack of power that brings radio systems down. Generators are prone to failure, and you need to be vigilant to maintain sufficient fuel on standby to protect you in an emergency.
Do not assume you will be able to refuel your back-up generator quickly. Invest in large enough fuel tanks, monitor evaporation and factor in how weather events
might restrict access to your sites. Consider too, that if power failure is widespread, your supplier may be unable to pump fuel.
Well-maintained batteries can give reliable power in the event of both your power and your generator failing.
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