TVWS Google Trial at ZSL London Zoo

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The Project

The installation of “white space” radios and cameras in the zoo enclosures, and transmission of the live feeds to YouTube.

The Solution

Virtua were asked by Google to install the white space radios and cameras at three different enclosures within the zoo, the otters, meerkats and tortoises.

White space frequencies are unused areas within the UHF TV spectrum that became available after the TV digital switchover project. Google required Virtua’s support with a test project to demonstrate the advantage of using white space spectrum for transmitting data across long distances and in non-line-of-sight scenarios. The low frequencies of the white spaces mean that they can better penetrate obstacles, such as dense foliage.

The systems Virtua installed in each of the three enclosures communicated with a base station placed on the roof of the ZSL office 1km away. The transmission was then fed live to ZSL’s YouTube channel, allowing the public to view their favourite animals 24 hours a day.

The Benefit

The project Virtua delivered brought publicity benefits to ZSL, however more importantly, Google used this as a project to test the use of white space spectrum. investigating how this could be applied to aid the preservation of wildlife through such technology efforts.

The response time from Virtua was brilliant especially when we got underway with equipment on-site. The network installation and tuning required a broad range of skill sets from IP networking, RF and antennas, physical installation, program management and this was managed well by Virtua. We are very pleased with the level of support, and quality of work from Virtua. Thank you.
Don Breslin
Wireless Systems Engineer, WSL, Google Access

From the outset, Virtua has been thorough and professional in their approach and sensitive to the site requirements at the Zoo including animal welfare. All documentation sent by Virtua has been accurate, well presented and sent in a timely manner. Installation of the equipment was carried out to a very high standard and Virtua were able to adapt their plans to suit the unique working environment of the Zoo.
Louise Heartly
ZSL London Zoo

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