More airports can stay open thanks to new autonomous solutions.
Semcon will be developing new autonomous solutions to help airports reduce their costs and make them safer. This time, the company will be devising smart ways to clear snow from landing lights using autonomous vehicles. This is a time-consuming job at present that has to be carried out manually. The aim is to allow more airports to stay open.
It may seem like a little thing, but runways are shut down if 15 per cent of their lights are disabled – and that results in significant delays and costs money. There are major benefits to be gained by using autonomous solutions here, not least when it comes to enhancing the safety of both aircraft and personnel.
This project is being implemented by Semcon in partnership with Lundberg Hymas – their tractor will be made autonomous. It will be possible to steer these vehicles remotely from a traffic management centre developed by Yeti Snow Technology, and it will be possible to interrupt the clearing of snow to allow an aircraft to land, for example.
Extreme vehicle precision is required, and the vehicle has to be able to operate in all weathers – these factors present a challenge. Semcon has previous experience of projects involving similar situations, working with Yeti Snow Technology, a company co-owned with Øveraasen. A successful solution for keeping entire runways clear of snow using autonomous snowploughs was demonstrated in Norway last spring.
Smart automation of airports will make it possible to keep more of the smaller, less busy airports open and retain staff thanks to reduced costs and increased safety.
The technology is being developed by Semcon for LFV (the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration) as part of its AVAP project, Autonomous Vehicles for AirPorts. Husqvarna, RISE, FlyPulse, Swedavia and Combitech are also working on various subprojects as part of this initiative. This project will be demonstrated at Örnsköldsvik Airport in a year’s time.