At many airports, several sensor technologies are already being used to support various business processes. The sensor technologies used today, radar and multilateration, are limited in their capabilities and are subject to disturbing influencing factors such as shading and reflections.
MagSense Air can deliver very precise position information to an A-SMGCS as a point-sensitive, high-precision and cost-effective sensor.
Many A-SMGCS in use at European airports and worldwide have difficulties to meet the requirements of the European minimum standard EUROCAE ED-87C. This is true, although the standard is not fully adapted to the operational requirements of the new A-SMGCS functions. This shows why airports across Europe and beyond have been actively seeking technological solutions for a number of years in order to increase the detection quality of their sensors (for example, with respect to spatial accuracy, probability of detection, and number of detection gaps).
Taxi processes on airports often involve holding instructions for aircraft, tow movements and vehicles at defined holding points. The protection of these defined points against unauthorized overruns, a function of the Airport Safety Support Service of the A-SMGCS, is currently not always possible, since the accuracy required in detecting the position of the mobile is not reliably achieved with the sensor technologies in use.
The runway system is the most safety-critical area of an airport. In consequence, this area is subject to special safety precautions and considered a ‘protected area’. A protection of the holding points for entering the runway protected area against overruns is of paramount importance, as the approach and take-off speeds are much higher than the speeds of mobiles on taxiways. Thus, a possible mistake, such as the failure to observe a holding instruction, directly leads to a collision hazard.
Sensor-based systems providing visual guidance information to pilots when parking the aircraft on the parking position have been available for a number of years now.
These systems usually use a laser scanner to detect the aircraft and have a reliability problems in certain weather conditions, especially in fog and heavy rain.
Active runways are the most critical parts of the aerodrome surface.
The highly precise and reliable MagSense Air is the basis for a Runway Crossing Assistance System, which supports flight crews and vehicle drivers in crossing active runways, making the process significantly safer.
The integrated Sensor-Guidance-Light is being developed in order to integrate the highly precise and reliable MagSense Air sensor technology and visual and audible guidance components into a unique product that can be implemented on the aerodrome surface without the need for construction work. The main idea is to technically integrate, i.e. to physically attach, MagSense Air sensors with a taxiway center line light and to use the center line light as a source of energy and as an access point to data networks.
All functions of an A-SMGCS depend on quality and reliability of the Surveillance data. As of now, there is no transparency for operators and users, i.e. air traffic controllers, Airport Operators (AO), and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP), when it comes to actual data quality and integrity. How exactly does the representation of a target on the synthetic surface situation represent the positions in reality?
In many apron areas at airports, service roads run along the parking positions of the aircraft and many times service roads even cross the taxiways. These intersections, in spite of clear regulations and signposting, tend to produce dangerous situations between vehicles and aircraft.
The planning and coordinated execution of operational procedures and complex process chains on airports, such as de-icing, is now being based on timestamps. They are used to fix the time when a milestone is expected for planning purposes ('Estimates') or when a milestone has been reached for post-analysis of the process and for invoice calculation ('Actuals').
With MagSense Air, a whole range of previously not automatically detectable timestamps can easily and reliably be included into the planning and post-analysis process.
Many small and medium-sized airports in Europe and worldwide still have no A-SMGCS and do not plan to implement one in the near and medium-term future. This decision is usually based on the cost of such a system.
To overcome this problem, MagSense Air can be used on airports without an A-SMGCS to establish a cost-effective and reliable solution, which allows for valid traffic management procedures in LVC and without the costs related to an A-SMGCS.