MagSense Airport | Versatile Use Cases on the Airside

At many airports, several sensor technologies are already being used to support various business processes. One of the most important sensor-based systems on airports is the Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) as it detects and identifies aircraft and vehicles operating on the aerodrome surface and draws up a synthetic map-based depiction of the overall traffic situation. Controllers use this information as a complement to the direct line of sight from the control tower in order to comprehend the traffic situation and to provide guidance instructions. 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. In addition, there may always be weather conditions, which interfere with the exterior view or prevent it. At the same time, new functions have been added to the A-SMGCS over the last few years and increased levels of automation are strived for, which place higher demands on the data quality and the reliability of the sensor systems. As a result, airports have been actively searching for appropriate technologies for years to remedy the prevailing deficits of their existing systems, to increase the accuracy of the detection and to become independent of disturbance variables.

Known Problems, Increasing Requirements and the Perfect Solution: MagSense Airport

MagSense Airport can deliver very precise position information to an A-SMGCS as a point-sensitive, high-precision and cost-effective sensor. It can be used to close existing gaps in the coverage of radar and multilateration, enhances data quality in places with special requirements, and enables the new A-SMGCS functions, such as the Airport Safety Support Service to help prevent pilot and driver error from causing incidents and accidents, as well as automated guidance, such as the procedure to ‘Follow-the-Greens’. MagSense Airport provides highly accurate position information in standardized data format.

With its unique features and unparalleled versatility, MagSense Airport can also be used for other significant and value-adding applications on the airside. At present, MobiliSis GmbH and Fraport AG jointly develop solutions for precisely monitoring holding positions on taxiways and also in the runway area, support systems for the crossing of active runways, visual and auditory docking guidance systems, solutions for the automated recording of time stamps, block control systems for airports without A- SMGCS and a number of other products.

MobiliSis GmbH and its partner Fraport AG are interested in projects with end customers and explicitly also in cooperation with integrators who would like to use our solutions and technologies in their products and projects.

The sensors are integrated in a CAN bus system and in the present case are arranged at a distance of 25 cm in the direction of travel. The graphic shows how an aircraft moves along the taxiway center line. The visible peaks are generated by the influence of the ferromagnetic material in the nose wheel of the aircraft on the earth's magnetic field. The movement starts in the lower part of the screen on the right, and progresses towards the left end of the lower screen. The movement continues in the upper part of the screen on the left. Shortly before the movements arrives at the center of the screen the aircraft stops. In all, the depiction persuasively depicts the highly discrete peaks detected by MagSense Airport. In addition, the influence of the sampling rate, in this case 7.5 Hz, is visible whereby some sensors along the rolling line always "miss" the nose gear. This is easily avoided by higher sampling rates. Technically, MagSense Airport is able to provide a multiple of the sampling rate set at this time.

For the creation of this impressing sensor-data heat map, MagSense Airport implemented orthogonally to the direction of travel were used. The color intensity reflects the strength of the influence of specific aircraft components on the earth magnetic field. On the example of the Airbus A321-200 visualized in this picture, it can be seen that the nose gear, main landing gears and engines are clearly to be identified from the sensor data stream. In addition, it is evident that MagSense Airport can also detect some operating conditions of the aircraft. In this specific case, the aircraft was on its way to the parking position with only one engine active (single engine taxi). In addition, we currently assume that the more intense influence on the earth's magnetic field caused by the right main gear is due to temperature differences caused by a slightly imbalanced landing. Initial tests with artificial intelligence have revealed that modern methods of pattern recognition and stored aircraft geometries can be used to clearly identify aircraft types with MagSense Airport.

Do you require more information or wish for an in-depth consultation? Are you interested in industrial partnership for integrating our technology into your solutions?