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Wichita Public Radio listeners want to hear programming with as few interruptions as possible. When KMUW does experience a technical failure, it often happens unbeknownst to the listener. However, if the failure affects the signal, recovery time is typically short because of the station’s investments in redundant equipment. Transmitters, antennas, electrical power, cooling systems, satellite feeds, automation servers, STLs and studios all have backups standing by.
As part of these investments, in 2007 KMUW built a transmitter facility using multiple green features to keep energy costs down and the site’s carbon footprint to a minimum. The facility is built with Agriboard straw walls able to withstand an F5 tornado, geothermal cooling, redundant cooling units with filtered economizers, fly-ash concrete and a modular green roof that absorbs not only heat and UV rays but also any ice that may fall from the tower. KMUW’s energy costs decreased approximately 30 percent with the build of the new facility. In 2009 KMUW won the Wichita Clean Air Award after being nominated by the Southwind chapter of the Sierra Club.
The move to the new transmitter facility also allowed the station to double the height of its antenna, which greatly expanded the reach of radio signal. KMUW’s signal now reaches as far north as Salina and as far south as Blackwell, Oklahoma. In the studios KMUW adopted the revolutionary audio over IP method using Axia systems and consoles to route and mix audio. KMUW’s audio is in an uncompressed digital format (48kHz/16bit) through the entire plant all the way to the input of the transmitter. The goal is to have the cleanest audio signal possible — loud enough to be heard over traffic, but not so loud that it causes listener fatigue.
KMUW is also the local leader of live music performance recording. With New Settlers' Radio Hour, Currency Exchange and our partnership with the public television program "Wichita Sessions," KMUW has recorded hundreds of performances from local, regional and touring acts.
KMUW is always looking to innovate and improve its multiple signals and the technology behind them. If you have any questions or concerns about the technology, please contact the station at firstname.lastname@example.org.