Mapping the future of Aviation

Air travel is forecasted to grow over the coming decades, with more aircraft using our overly-congested airspace. For airport operators, aircraft safety is a top priority and this includes the ability to communicate with aircraft to ensure safety. Airports use three types of communication systems: ground communications for controlling operations, ground to air communications for managing airspace and radars for monitoring en route operations.

For engineering company Haysys, understanding whether an aircraft can be detected by ground control stations (direction finders) was a question they put to ATDI. To understand this, they requested coverage predictions for seven airports across Belgium, using 10W transmitters at different heights (1,000 ft, 1,500 ft and 4,500ft). These heights replicated the aircraft at the various stages of take-off and landing, as well as those en route.



At project kick-off, ATDI created high-resolution map data sets for the proposed airports, to model the coverage in HTZ Communications. The map data was imported into HTZ Communications, ATDI’s radio planning tool, and used to create coverage plots for each site at each given height. The outputs from the study were 21 coverage maps; three coverage plots for each airport at each height. These plots will enable airport operators to review their current network coverage and make improvements if they don’t meet regulations.

Similarly, a US airport operator needed high-resolution map data to model link budget analysis for their aircraft. ATDI was able to provide datasets for a handful of US airports. After the success of the testing phase of the project, the end user placed an order for 90 airports across the country. This map data enabled the user to assess the connectivity of these vital communication links and propose mitigation solutions in HTZ.

Demand for low-cost high-resolution map data is on the up. Users need access to datasets to support existing networks and technologies and to support the exponential growth in markets such as 5G. These services require higher resolution datasets which can be expensive and sometimes difficult to source. ATDI offers high-resolution terrain elevation and clutter maps for most countries across the World. Their map data library features royalty-free map data and is available to users with a valid maintenance contract. Maps can be downloaded and imported directly into HTZ. The library is continuously updated and contains a growing number of datasets for airports around the globe.

ATDI has extensive experience working with airports, national civil aviation authorities and military air forces, supporting their work to maintain aircraft safety.

To learn more about ATDI’s activity in this sector visit our Aviation page.

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