The Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA) constantly monitors the upcoming changes and the resulting operational needs in the areas of air traffic control and airspace management. One of them is the dynamic development of the infrastructure of urban agglomerations, also often in close proximity of airports and airstrips, which results in the creation of new ones and changing the parameters of existing air obstacles, e.g. on the paths of approaches to runways, but also in the areas of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flights.
The main task of PANSA is to ensure safety in the air traffic, as well as effective management of the Polish airspace. In order to meet these aims, PANSA has worked with external partners to develop an innovative system responsible for the detection and analysis of objects that threaten the safety of air operations, and to automatically notify stakeholders of the results of its activities. The established consortium, which – apart from PANSA – includes Creotech Instruments S.A. and AP-Tech Sp. z o.o., received funding in the amount of nearly 3 million EUR from the National Centre for Research and Development for the realization of the SAMPLE project (Automatic Air Navigation Obstacles Monitoring System). The project completion date is anticipated as 30 September 2023.
The SAMPLE system is used for automatic measurement, processing, and then visualization and export of data on air obstacles contained within the geographical area selected by the customer. The entire data analyzing process takes place in a virtual cloud using high-resolution satellite images and supplementary information, such as data from measurements carried out by UAVs, collected by radars or from the ARESS system. Their processing is carried out using artificial intelligence technology and innovative algorithms, thanks to which the user receives a three-dimensional visualization of a given area and obstacles occurring on it, along with the necessary information about each of the objects. In addition, the concept of the SAMPLE system assumes that it will ultimately be integrated with the system responsible for issuing NOTAM messages. If a new obstacle is detected or the parameters of an existing one are changed, the SAMPLE system will automatically generate and send a NOTAM PROPOSAL.
The SAMPLE system is an innovative tool that achieves a more accurate result than traditional methods, based in particular on geodetic measurements, while eliminating the existing invasiveness of the processes of creating such reports. The SAMPLE system generates an air obstacle report in file formats used in this type of report, such as pdf, csv, AIXM 5.1 or html, which can be approved for operational use immediately after approval by the surveyor. One of the most important features of the SAMPLE system is the so-called prediction function, which allows estimating the growth of trees in the area set by the user at a specific time, which will allow for more accurate planning of their possible pruning or removal.
Immediate access to full, current and high quality data, simplicity of their use and management, as well as the availability of the entire system at any time are the undoubted advantages of the SAMPLE. It is an innovative, fast, automatic and cost-effective technological solution, which modular structure allows individualization in terms of customer requirements.
In the aviation industry, its usage translates primarily into the optimization of aircraft routes, thanks to which flight times are reduced, and thus – also fuel costs.
– SAMPLE is primarily an innovative approach to detect and manage information about air obstacles. The very idea of such a system, the use of artificial intelligence capabilities as well as methods and ways of detecting air obstacles is something new and not found in the existing IT tools. These facts were the main asset thanks to which the SAMPLE system met with great interest among serious contractors in the aviation industry at this year’s World ATM Congress in Madrid – Wojciech Węgrzyn, Project Specialist, 15 years of experience at PANSA.