Work progress and results of the 1st project year (2004)

Within the first steps of the project the identification of user groups and other stakeholders and the Identification of user requirements are the most important tasks for the system development.

Starting with the stakeholders associated with Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) as identified in relevant Eurocontrol documents. From here, potential user groups/stakeholders for ISMAEL were derived. This initial set was then extended through literature research and discussion with experts from within the consortium. Also, findings and experiences of prior EU projects in this field were incorporated. Finally, the extended list of stakeholders was divided into three categories according to their degree of involvement in the system, and their influence and relevance for requirements.

The user needs and performance requirements for the range of possible applications in airport traffic control were captured and analysed. Applications with real potential added value resulting from magnetic sensor detection were identified as Runway Incursion Protection and Airport Surveillance (either as a stand alone solution in smaller airports or as part of an integrated A-SMGCS suite at larger airports). A consolidated set of requirementswas developed, covering Operational, Performance, Safety, Installation, Maintenance, Environmental, EMC, Economic and Software topics. Together these requirements should provide a basis for developing an ISMAEL system that can meet the real needs of the identified users.

To fulfil user requirements, several steps were taken to develop the detector with its core component: the sensor head. Detector development began with the specification and identification of relevant aspects that have to be met to enable the cooperation of the analogue sensor head with the digital processing unit. An interference control document (ICD) for the sensor head and the processing unit was used for this purpose. Two generations of sensor head prototypes (A-series and B-series) have been designed and produced. The basic structure and components of the sensor head prototype include: magnetic field sensors; power supply; compensation coil and flipping coil; amplification stages, gain switch; low pass filter, etc. Each sensor head has its own address and it can communicate with the measurement system through a bus system. A reset and self-checking function is also included. Various numbers of A-series modules and B-series modules were manufactured by using surface mount components during this project period.

Numerous laboratory tests and field tests were carried out in order to check and improve the functions of the prototypes. Initial measurements of sensor head performance in the airport environment have also been obtained during the first project phase.

A fixed test site was built up along one taxiway of airport Saarbruecken. Five B-series sensor head prototypes were installed at selected locations there. Initial checking of the system and regular measurements on passing aircraft were performed at the beginning of 2005. As an example, the test result of Boeing 737 of one sensor head prototype which is buried in the middle of the taxiway is presented in Figure1:

Fig. 1 Field test result (red curve) of a Boeing 737 by one sensor head which is in the middle of taxiway.

The current test setup and the test results show that all tested aircraft can be detected by the sensor head prototypes in the middle of taxiway regardless of the weather conditions.

The theoretical calculations of the magnetic field change due to the presence of aircraft are important for the choice of sensor head prototype parameters as well as for the choice of optimum sensor position and direction. Initial calculations have been made based on simplified parameters of various aircraft.

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