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Session B4: Application/Impact of GPS Technologies in the Homeland Critical Infrastructure

Airport Surveillance: Tracking Airplane Runway Movements with LiDAR Sensors
Dorota A. Grejner-Brzezinska, Charles Toth, and Zoltan Koppanyi, The Ohio State University
Location: Room 305
Alternate Number 1

Monitoring the movement of objects in airport areas is of high interest, primarily for safety reasons. As air traffic continues to grow and airport infrastructure expansion develops at a slower pace, more traffic must be accommodated in the same space. Consequently, due to space limitation and air volume increase, larger aircraft are increasingly using runways designed for smaller planes, challenging air traffic and airport management. Airports are considered as one of the critical elements of the national infrastructure, and thus, they must be protected from terrorist attacks and intruders. Radar-based systems are the primary tracking tool that provide position and velocity estimates for longer distance at adequate accuracy. In close range, defined as the 3D envelope of an airport, they are less effective, as occlusion as well as sensor spatial resolution may limit the observation capability.
Remote sensing technologies, long used for mapping the static part of our natural and man-made environments, have advanced to the point that the dynamic components of the environment, such as monitoring people’s movement or road traffic can be supported by providing not only reliable but also affordable geospatial data. In particular, laser sensing, such as the Velodyne LiDAR products, can support a variety of applications to track and map objects on the ground, both indoors and outdoors.
This study describes the initial results of a multi-sensor laser system network that is deployed around runways/taxiways to remotely observe aircraft movement, including taxiing, takeoff and landing. The objective is to obtain the navigation information of moving aircrafts, including the usual position, velocity and attitude parameters. This research has been supported by an FAA grant.



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