Frequentis, Vienna to link on tech research

World ATM Congress Vienna airport and Frequentis have signed a cooperation agreement to develop together a video-based smartVISION system to increase efficiency and enhance operational safety.

The systems and knowledge developed from the partnership will be used for future research projects advancing the virtual tower concept.

In 2016, over 23.4 million passengers utilised Vienna Airport. Efficient operational processes and exceptional reliability are essential to ensure passengers reach their destinations on time. I

n order to optimise these processes, Vienna Airport and Frequentis have entered into a three-year technology and research partnership, and are now working together to develop a video-based apron overview system. This smartVISION solution will incorporate the airport’s existing IT infrastructure. The IT hardware and camera system will be provided by the airport, and the software to set up and manage the system will be supplied by Frequentis.

The goal is to use ‘stitching’ to piece together individual camera signals from ten cameras currently installed on the control tower. This will create a panoramic image, providing an overview of the entire apron at a single glance. Using pan/tilt/zoom cameras, it will be possible to obtain detailed images – for example of individual parking positions.

It will also be possible to design more efficient working processes, thanks to a unified user interface displaying the panoramic image and associated information. Dynamic alarm fields and the integration of overlays and object tracking are also envisaged. These will help to enhance operational safety. Other features will be determined over the course of the research partnership. The system will be implemented in two stages, by the end of 2019 at the latest.

“As a four-star airport, Vienna airport is a byword for excellence. Punctuality, reliability and efficiency are absolutely vital to the day-to-day running of the airport, enabling 60,000 passengers to travel on time and in comfort. This means that all of our operational processes have to fit together seamlessly. Our collaboration with Frequentis will provide valuable insights in this regard,” explains Julian Jäger, chief operating officer of Flughafen Wien.

Frequentis CEO Hannes Bardach adds: “We are honoured to be part of this partnership. We will be able to utilise our product smartVISION, and draw on our extensive experience in the field of videobased surveillance from other projects. And together with the team from Flughafen Wien AG, we will be able to expand our expertise even further.”

The collaboration has benefits for both partners: Vienna airport will benefit from a modern, efficient solution for its operations, and Frequentis will be able to evaluate its smartVISION product readiness for use in future virtual tower projects.

The technology partnership and the insights it yields will also serve as a basis for future research collaborations. In the context of SESAR – the programme for the modernisation and harmonisation of European air traffic management – the partnership will be an opportunity to evaluate and develop functionalities in the areas of ‘video-based surveillance’ and ‘safety nets’.

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