Obstacle Control

Combining drones, photogrammetry and our platform

Obstacle Control

Airports are required to identify and classify objects and obstacles to ensure safety and compliance with regulation. This task has to be performed periodically using traditional methods, which in some cases take too long, or are not suitable for certain locations.

Photogrammetry is the technique of generating 3D models of terrain and structures using geo-located images obtained from the air. These models can be very accurate, allowing the data to be analysed to perform measurements. This technology is very useful for the identification and characterisation of aerodrome obstacles.

Thanks to our Platform and database, the Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) of an aerodrome can be easily calculated, and then compared to the data calculated from the drone. All measured points or objects that meet certain criteria can be classified and logged as objects or obstacles according to the corresponding regulations:

  • ICAO ANNEX 14 VOL I “Aerodromes Design”
  • ICAO 9137 PART 6 “Obstacle Control”
  • EASA CS-ADR-DSN “Aerodromes Design”

In the example below, an area of 17-hectares can be covered in just 45 minutes of drone flight at 50 meters above the ground (AGL), translating to approximately 22 hectares per hour. The flights can be done at different moments and in small sections to minimise impact on aerodrome operations. The operation is 100% autonomous, with a single drone operator monitoring the progress.

The real benefit of our solution, procedures and know-how starts with the data contained in the 3D model.

The outcome of the flights is a 3D model of the terrain (point cloud) with more than 12,000,000 data points. This means, that the model contains more than 12,000,000 sets of latitude, longitude and elevation. Each point can then be analysed and compare to the Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) to identify any object that violates the protection surface.

The result of the analysis is logged so the obstacle database is updated with all the required information: identifiers, types, coordinates, elevation, height, etc. All data can be visualised in our web platform, the same tool where all the solutions from our portfolio merge into an integral solution.

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