R.V. Anderson Associates Limited (RVA) provided the engineering services to Ledcor Industries Inc. for the development of a major fibre optic transmission system (F.O.T.S.) across Canada and throughout portions of the United States.
The first phase of this system is a link between Toronto and Vancouver, located primarily on Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railway rights-of-way. This fibre optic system consists of a series of rings with nodes in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. A portion of the route also runs through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. The design of the ring system provides telecommunications carriers with route diversity in the event that disruptions occur on one or more of the links. The main beneficiaries of this design-build project are long distance telephone service companies.
The cable was typically installed using a ploughing technique, in which reels of armoured cable, 20 mm in diameter, were ploughed directly into the ground at a depths of 0.9 m to 1.2 m. Ledcor has adapted to the railway environment by designing and patenting “track-mounted” equipment for the ploughing operation. In some areas, high-density polyethylene conduit, 32 mm in diameter, was installed using the same technique and the fibre optic cable was later “jetted” into the conduit using a compressed air system. The use of ploughed conduit(s) instead of direct ploughed cable provides added flexibility in terms of future use.
RVA’s scope of work in this multi-year design-build venture with Ledcor includes design of the fibre optic cable system and related ancillary equipment, preparation of design drawings, design of communications shelters which house signal regeneration equipment, obtaining federal, provincial and local level approvals such as those required at road crossings and field inspection, and quality assurance of the F.O.T.S. construction.
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