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Digital audio broadcasting system

Phase i: development of a european technical standard for
digital audio broadcasting. Phase ii: final system
standardisation and design, system verification and
investigation of implementation aspects.

The use of digital technology for the sound carrier media sector in the form of the compact disc has set new standards in reproduction quality. This has raised the question as to whether and how an equivalent improvement in quality is also possible for terrestrial radio systems, and in particular mobile reception. The fundamental course to be followed will lead to the digitalisation of radio distribution networks and thus to a new radio standard. However, the systematic transition to digital technology will not only result in an increase in the quality of reproduction of sound broadcastings, but will also open up possibilities for additional channels in the all too small frequency spectrum and for an improvement in mobile reception. Initial preliminary investigations have revealed the feasibility of digital terrestrial radio. In this respect, a key role will be played by extremely complex processes in digital signal processing and the use of modern VLSI circuit technologies to make these processes possible at low cost. The task of the project at issue is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the digital terrestrial radio network and to work out the most promising solution from a number of different approaches. The most important result of the project will be a digital radio standard which will be jointly supported and implemented by all participants in the project. This standard is a prerequisite in order to enable the firms participating in the development work to minimise the R & D risk involved in this high-tech challenge. The R & D project is to be a supranational European project which will be carried out jointly by both industry and radio stations. The project is to commence in 1986 and will run for 4 years. First estimates put total costs at approximately DM 80 million. The cooperation project is to be organised along the lines of the DVS (Digital Video System) project. The project E! 147/II will continue the development of a Digital Audio Broadcasting System started in 1987 as EU 147/I. In E! 147/I a preliminary system definition was agreed among the partners. The principal suitability of the proposed system - consisting of a sound cooling part for reliable transmission - has been demonstrated on several occasions. E! 147/II fully investigates and finalises all aspects of this DAB system to facilitate adoption of this system as a standard by international bodies like Comite Consultatif International de Radiodiffusion (CCIR), network operators and broadcasters envisaging introduction of DAB services in Europe from 1996 on. The goal is to work out the final specification of the system and to demonstrate that the specified system fulfils all requirements in terms of performance (implementation loss), services, consumer type receivers and implementation (frequency allocation and transmitter network). Major tasks are the evaluation of the system in field tests in order to verify the specification and the study of network concepts. Experimental equipment for the transmission and reception side including measurement and reference equipment according to the agreed specifications developed. Receiver development work is undertaken for carrying out the very precise analogue and very complex digital processing at acceptable costs for consumers and with low power consumption as required for portable use. Methods for quality assessment of DAB system components will be developed. Experimental DAB-transmitter networks are established and operated studying all relevant implementation configurations (system modes and frequencies), in particular those features not tested yet (1.5 MHz bandwidth, unequal error protection, audio dynamics control, transmitter identification). Matters of programme multiplexing and synchronous large area signal distribution using terrestrial and satellite links will be studied. Investigations of the single frequency network concept for VHF allowing all transmitters in one service area to be operated on the same frequency. The study of implementation aspects covers also the 1.5 GHz range where a band of 40 MHz has been allocated for DAB early in 1992. Another focus of the work is the development of rules and tools for frequency and network planning. With respect to the planned system introduction in bands already in use, the interference with existing services will be investigated (protection ratios). Transport mechanisms for embedding various types of data services either linked to audio programmes (eg. lyrics) or independent (traffic, paging) will be studied thoroughly with an emphasis on traffic services. In addition the E! 147/II project is the technical base for several external activities. Standardisation work carried out by ETSI and CENELEC. National promotion groups. JESSI-DAB is developing a chipset for an experimental DAB receiver. In cooperation with external partners the system will be promoted actively to gain acceptance of the standard and allocation of frequencies in Europe and worldwide.
Start date: 
01-01-1987
Project Duration: 
156months
Project costs: 
89 200 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.