Deep Down Under the Elbe

The New Elbe Tunnel in Hamburg, which opened for the first time in 1975, isn’t really new anymore. Nevertheless, with a total length of 3,325 metres it numbers amongst the longest underwater road tunnels in the world and, with a daily capacity of more than 120,000 vehicles, is also one of the most important ones. Equipped with a NEXUS-based announcement system, it is also one of the safest and most up-to-date 

elbtunnel

elbe oliverreimann2011 01

When driving to the centre of Hamburg from the South, your way will eventually cross the Elbe river – either over or under it. The northbound A7 autobahn, Hamburg’s busy artery, guides the traffic through a four-bore tunnel under the Hanseatic city’s great waterway. Statistics say that a car breaks down or an accident happens every three days, a perfectly normal value for German autobahns. However, a defective vehicle inside a tunnel tube can quickly become a dangerous obstacle. Therefore, stringent safety regulations are in force for autobahn tunnels to ensure rapid evacuation when necessary. Announcement systems are critical components in case of an emergency, so strict guidelines apply. Therefore, using a NEXUS in the New Elbe Tunnel was an obvious choice!

A Difficult Acoustic Environment

A CAS-300 announcement system, based on a NEXUS audio network, has been in use in tube 2 of the Elbe Tunnel since August 2010. It is used for loudspeaker announcements which pass instructions to the drivers in the tunnel in case of emergency.
Such systems usually battle with the tunnel acoustics. If the speakers are lined up along the tube there are unwanted acoustic overlaps which result in echoes. In order to mitigate the consequent lack of intelligibility, the previous announcement system used a total of around 800 speakers installed along the tunnel at a distance of 3.75 metres apart. This ensured that wherever a motorist was inside the tunnel, he or she could hear direct sound since there was always a loudspeaker a speaker nearby. Nevertheless, the large number of speakers stimulated the reverb sound field to such an extent that intelligibility was still extremely poor.

From Weakness Comes Strength

The new approach with the NEXUS announcement system takes advantage of the tunnel acoustics rather than fighting them. A characteristic of this environment is that sound propagation inside the tunnel can be made to behave like a single coherent acoustic wave. The sound-wave fronts do not overlap each other chaotically but in a temporally-synchronised manner. Technically, this is achieved by using the so-called Synchronised Longitudinal Announcement Speaker System (SLASS) concept.
With just 46 speakers, corresponding to one every 64 metres, the new system generates such a wave which propagates along the tunnel tube. After the first, each individual loudspeaker signal is delayed so that the subsequent speaker’s signal is phased precisely with the signal arriving from the previous one. In consequence of this principle the system produces an overall delay of around ten seconds over the entire tunnel length, a delay which is immaterial for this purpose. The loudspeaker of choice was an innovative pressure-zone horn system that uses the tunnel roof as a quasi horn extension. Not least because of their excellent rear attenuation, the speakers excite a strongly bunched wave in exactly the desired direction of sound. Moreover, they are extremely thin – a considerable benefit, given that headroom is at a premium in a tunnel.

Clear and Concise

The tunnel complex includes three ventilation buildings at the northern and southern ends and in the middle together with a tunnel-operations centre. Each location houses a NEXUS Base Device where DSP cards are installed. These are used to delay the signals correctly and to route them to individual power-amplifier channels. To ensure operational reliability the NEXUS includes redundant optical lines and power supplies and constant system-component monitoring. Other reliability features are implemented using CAS-300 components: amplifier monitoring, including backup-amplifiers, supervised announcement playout; and full monitoring of speaker loops and all audio signals back to the microphone capsule. The CAS-300 also supports subscriberunits that can be used for making announcements if necessary. The outcome is convincing: The system achieves a degree of intelligibility unparalleled in tunnel environments.

The Designer

Oliver Reimann from IfB consulting, a German engineering firm, planned and designed the announcement system installed in bore 2 of the New Elbe Tunnel. In February 2011, Reimann, with his newly established planning and consulting company SPRECH-FABRIK ENGINEERING, were assigned to plan the conversion of the remaining tunnel bores which will follow the successful bore 2 design.

Cegelec

The photo of the Elbe tunnel portal was kindly provided by the company Cegelec. Many thanks!
Cegelec is a specialist in integrating comprehensive technology in tunnels. This includes traffic and operating systems as well as power supply and ventilation / smoke extraction and safety systems. Some of the most important projects in recent years are the Elbe Tunnel (tunnel 4), Hamburg, the Fleet Moor Tunnel, Hamburg, and the Warnow crossing, Rostock. Cegelec also is the general contractor in a major project to upgrade the Elbe tunnel in Hamburg. By 2011, tunnel tubes 1 to 3 will be upgraded with new infrastructure incorporating the latest technology.
In the annual European ADAC tests, several tunnels equipped by Cegelec were rated as »very good«. The »best tunnel in Germany 2007« rated by the ADAC was the tunnel at the Tiergarten in Berlin, which was also equipped by Cegelec.

TV and Radio Broadcast

AVATUS & NEXUS/NEXUS STAR

  • HSE24 Home Shopping Europe AG  Ismaning, Germany
  • RSI Broadcast Center  Lugano, Switzerland
  • tpc Metechno, Broadcast Center  Zurich, Switzerland

AURUS & NEXUS/NEXUS STAR

  • Antena 3 Madrid (TV)  Madrid, Spain
  • ASTRO (Malaysian satellite television) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Anhui TV  Hefei-Anhui, China
  • Auditorium Rai di Napoli  Naples, Italy
  • BBC Scotland Glasgow, United Kingdom weiterlesen blau 2019
  • BR Bayerischer Rundfunk  Munich, Nuremberg, Germany weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Canal 9  Valencia, Spain
  • CCTV  Beijing, China weiterlesen blau 2019 weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Crow TV-Studio  Tokyo, Japan
  • Deutschlandradio  Berlin, Cologne, Germany
  • Deutsche Welle TV  Berlin, Germany weiterlesen blau 2019
  • FM 802 Radio  Osaka, Japan weiterlesen blau 2019
  • FRANCE 2  Paris, France
  • Fuji TV  Tokyo, Japan  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • HSE24 Home Shopping Europe AG  Ismaning, Germany
  • HR Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt, Germany
  • J.V.E. facilities   Almere, The Netherlands  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • MDR Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk  Leipzig, Germany weiterlesen blau 2019
  • NDR 2  Hannover, Germany
  • NDR Norddeutscher Rundfunk Hamburg, Hannover, Kiel, Schwerin, Germany
  • Plazamedia TV&Film Produktion  Ismaning, Germany
  • Phoenix TV Station  Bonn, Germany
  • RAI  Rome, Milan, Naples, Torino, Italy  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Radio Bremen  Bremen, Germany  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • RAI Radio  Rome, Italy  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Rom TV  Rome, Italy
  • RTS Radiotelevisione svizzera  Geneva, Switzerland  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • RTBF Brussels, Belgium  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • RTM Kuala Lumpur  Kuala Lumpur, Perdana, Seremban, Malaysia  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • RSI - Radiotelevisione svizzera  Lugano, Switzerland
  • TAI Television News Agency  Warsaw, Poland
  • Television de Galicia  Galicia, Spain
  • TVP Telewizja Polska  Warsaw, Poland  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Tianjin Radio Station  Tianjin, China
  • tpc zürich ag  Zurich, Switzerland  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • TSR Télévision Suisse Romande  Geneva, Switzerland
  • TVE Radio Televisión Espanola  Madrid, Spain
  • WDR Westdeutscher Rundfunk  Cologne, Bocklemund, Dusseldorf,  Germany  weiterlesen blau 2019

CRESCENDO & NEXUS/NEXUS STAR

  • ASTRO  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Anhui TV  Hefei-Anhui, China
  • CCTV  Beijing, China
  • CBC Cologne Broadcasting Center  Cologne, Germany
  • Formosa TV  Taipei, Taiwan  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Fujian tv  Beijing, China
  • Hangzhou TV  Hangzhou, China
  • HR Hessischer Rundfunk  Frankfurt/Main, Kassel, Germany
  • HSE24 Home Shopping Europe AG  Ismaning, Germany
  • HBTV Hubei Broadcasting Group  Wuhan, China
  • HNTV  Zhengzhou, China
  • JiangSu Broadcasting Corporation (JSBC)  Nanjing, China
  • Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Yeongdeungpo District, Seoul, Korean
  • Life News TV, Moscow, Russia
  • M6 TV  Paris, France
  • Media Prima Berhad  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • NDR  Hamburg, Germany
  • NOSPR Narodowa Orkiestra Symfoniczna Polskiego Radia  Katowice, Poland
  • ONE TV / Dorna Sports Management Rome, Italy
  • Plazamedia TV&Film Produktion  Ismaning, Germany
  • Rede Bahia de Televisao  Salvador, Brazil
  • RTBF  Brussels, Belgium
  • RTM  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • RTS Radiotelevisione svizzera  Geneva, Switzerland
  • SBT Sistema Brasileiro de Televisao Sao Paulo, Brazil  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Shenzhen TV  Shenzhen, China
  • Sveriges Radio  Stockholm, Sweden
  • tpc zürich ag  Zurich, Switzerland
  • TSR Télévision Suisse Romande  Geneva, Switzerland
  • TVE Radio Televisión Espanola  Barcelona, Spain
  • Vatican Radio  Vatican, Italy  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Videohouse  Brussels, Belgium
  • VRT Brussels, Belgium

AURATUS & NEXUS

  • ASTRO TV  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Bernama News TV  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • BR Bayerischer Rundfunk  Nuremberg, Germany
  • CCTV  Beijing, China
  • CJ E&M Brodcasting Centre  Seoul, Korea
  • EPTV  Campinas, Brazil
  • FFS Film- & Fernseh-Synchron  Berlin, Germany  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Henan  Zhengzhou, China
  • HBTV Hubei Broadcasting Group  Wuhan, China
  • Moscovia Broadcasting Company  Moscow, Russia
  • OMTV - Olympic Marseille Football Team  Marseille, France
  • Plazamedia TV&Film Produktion  Ismaning, Germany
  • Radio Kuwait  Kuwait
  • RTBF Brussels, Charleroi, Belgium
  • RTL Radio  Paris, France
  • RTM TV  Sarawak, Malaysia weiterlesen blau 2019
  • RTM TV  Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • SBT Sistema Brasileiro de Televisao  Sao Paulo, Brazil  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Shenzhen TV  Shenzhen, China
  • Tele M1  Aarau, Switzerland
  • Tele 1  Luzern, Switzerland
  • VRT  Brussels, Belgium
  • WDR Westdeutscher Rundfunk Siegen, Bonn, Cologne, Essen, Wuppertal, Aachen, Münster, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Duisburg weiterlesen blau 2019  Germany

ON AIR flex & NEXUS/NEXUS STAR

  • ABC Australian Broadcast Corporation  Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, all Australia
  • Al-Watan Radio Kuwait  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • ASTRO (Malaysian satellite television)  Cyberjaya, Malaysia
  • CCTV Movie Channel  Beijing, China
  • HR Hessischer Rundfunk  Frankfurt, Germany
  • HSE24 Home Shopping Europe AG  Ismaning, Germany
  • NDR (tv station) Kiel, Hannover, Germany
  • Plazamedia TV&Film Produktion  Ismaning, Germany
  • Radio Pilatus   Lucerne, Switzerland  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • SDTV QILU Channel  Beijing, China
  • Shanghai Education Television  Shanghai, China
  • tpc Zürich  Zurich, Schwitzerland
  • WDR  Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Wuppertal, Germany
  • Xiamen Travel Channel  Xiamen, China

NEXUS/NEXUS STAR

  • All India Radio New Delhi, India  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Antena 3  Madrid, Islas Baleares, Spain
  • BBC  London, United Kingdom
  • BBC North Manchester, United Kingdom  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • BR Bayerischer Rundfunk Freimann, Germany  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Cadena SER  Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Spain  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Canal Mundo Radio  Madrid, Spain
  • Canal+: Paris, France  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • 20th Century Fox  Los Angeles, USA
  • CBS  New York, USA
  • ESPN  Bristol, Los Angeles, USA
  • ETABETA  Rome, Italy
  • Eurosport 2  Paris, France
  • HR Hessischer Rundfunk Gießen, Fulda, Darmstadt, Wiesbaden, Kassel, Germany weiterlesen blau 2019
  • HR Hessischer Rundfunk  TR 3  Frankfurt, Germany  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • IRT Project Hybnet  Munich, Germany
  • NBC  New York, USA
  • NHK  Tokio, Japan
  • n-tv  Berlin, Germany
  • ORB/DVB-FSZ Ostdeutscher Rundfunk  Potsdam, Germany
  • ORF Eisenstadt, Dornbirn, Austria
  • Onda Cero Radio  Madrid, Spain
  • ONE TV / Dorna Sports Management Rome, Italy
  • Polskie Radio S.A.  Warsaw, Poland weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Portuguese Broadcasting Service  Lisbon, Portugal
  • PTT  Madrid, Spain
  • Public Radio of the Ukraine  Kiew, Ukraine
  • Radio Caracol  Bogota, Colombia
  • Radio Cope  Madrid, Spain
  • Radio 9  Valencia, Spain
  • Radio France  Paris, France
  • Radio Traffic  Paris, France
  • Radio Marca  Madrid, Spain
  • RBB FS Berlin, Germany
  • RPP Radio Programas del Peru  Peru
  • RTS Radiotelevisione svizzera  Geneva, Switzerland   weiterlesen blau 2019
  • RTL Berlin, Germany
  • SAT 1  Zurich, Switzerland
  • SFB Sender Freies Berlin  Berlin, Germany
  • Staatlicher Rundfunk Usbekistan  Uzbekistan
  • Studio Hamburg  Hamburg, Germany
  • SWR Südwestrundfunk Stuttgart, Baden-Baden, Germany  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Tele 5  Madrid, Spain
  • Televisión de Galicia  Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • TF 1  Paris, France  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • TV 1 Napoli  Naples, Italy
  • Unitel  Unterföhring, Germany
  • Vatican Radio Vatican, Italy  weiterlesen blau 2019
  • Yunnan TV  Kunming, China
  • ZDF Mainz, Berlin, Germany
OB Trucks
Theatres and Operas
Live
Exhibitions, Conventions, Art Centres
Film Studios
Public Buildings
Universities
Sports Venues
Other