ANSPs and airport operators around the world are facing increasing pressure from airlines and competition in tower air traffic control (ATC) markets. Remote Virtual Tower technologies help to leverage shared assets, improve operations and explore new concepts of operations.
AEROSENSE Remote Virtual Tower Solutions are tested and used at airports with complex ATC operations, safely managing IFR and VFR operations on site or from a remote location. Advanced video processing leveraging artificial intelligence makes airports of any size smarter.
Every airport is different. Therefore our solution provides flexible functionality to improve operations and support individual business models. It consists of airport equipment, sensors, a remote tower centre and network functionality.
Remote Virtual Tower for small and medium capacity airports replicates the visual view at airports, enabling ANSPs to provide air traffic control and information services from a remote location with new enhancement tools such as aircraft and object detection and tracking, information augmentation, to safely manage single or multiple airports from remote.
The German ANSP DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung was one of the first to recognise the opportunities offered by remote tower control. Frequentis and DFS have developed an advanced solution for three international airports in Germany: Saarbrücken, Erfurt and Dresden. 360° visual and IR cameras provide a seamless panorama view, supported by high performance PTZ cameras with visual and IR sensors. Advanced video tracking allows detection and marking of IFR and VFR flights and vehicles. Surveillance information increases situational awareness.
Remote Virtual Tower technology can also be used to add new functionality for regular tower operations. Smart binoculars, view enhancement based on infrared camera technology, and intelligent alerting functions enhance airport operations, especially at night or in adverse weather. It gives operators a full airport view, as well as flexibility in times of increased traffic flow. Tower operations can be remoted to a contingency centre to ensure continued full capacity operations in case of incidents.
Remote Virtual Tower provides an additional set of eyes, thus allowing video-based airport apron control, providing a large-scale video panorama, blind spot coverage, position information, augmented information about aircraft status and airport security protection through alerts and automated tracking with zoom / close-up / PTZ cameras for improved apron management and airport perimeter security.
Vienna Airport deploys a video-based surveillance solution for apron management at the largest airport in Austria. With about 220,000 movements per year, Vienna Airport is an important hub for Central and Eastern Europe. Controllers are provided with an ultra-high resolution panorama using advanced stitching algorithms and individually controllable PTZ cameras. This collaboration will work to improve video-based surveillance and safety-nets and provide essential contributions to European research projects.
Intelligent Video Processing
A seamless, harmonized panorama view of the aerodrome is essential for safe ATC operations. Air traffic controllers have the highest demands to an accurate and timely representation of the real environment. While standard CCTV-based systems rely on a direct connection between camera and screen, the Frequentis solution uses intelligent algorithms to process the panorama view in real-time. Advanced stitching algorithms harmonize panorama picture and ensure a balanced view. High-dynamic range filters provide optimal visibility also in challenging light conditions, adapting contrast levels dynamically. Object bounding and automatic tracking helps the controllers to focus on ATC operations.
Machine intelligence such as artificial intelligence or deep learning revolutionise a variety of sectors today. Advances in processing power and increased availability of tested and proven toolkits make machine intelligence a commodity for many products. Machine intelligence will pave the way towards understanding details and context of a remote virtual tower, enabling a multitude of new use cases and applications, which enhance situational awareness and safety of operations. Frequentis is investing in research and partners with renowned organisations such as the Austrian Institute of Technology to further machine intelligence for remote towers.
Multi-remote Tower (SESAR)
Multi-remote tower ATC operations builds on the concept of controlling air traffic at multiple airports from one controller working position. Frequentis and DFS are part of the SESEAR PJ05 Remote Tower project with the aim to research the operational and technical aspects for multi-remote tower operations, where it already provided a number of "industry-firsts": "SESAR scores another "first" in remote towers". Follow the recent developments here: link
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