Remote-controlled drones and artificial intelligence checked Avinor’s fences
Airport fences have several important security functions. However, conditions such as wear and tear, weather and manipulation can alter the condition of the fences, making them permeable to people and animals.
In light of this, Avinor wished to implement a project investigating ways to regularly monitor the situation. Avinor’s societal mission is to secure all of Norway’s aviation services. This includes responsibility for the ownership, development, and operation of a nationwide airport network for the civil sector. The fences are an important part of an airport’s infrastructure.
“Together with Basefarm, we were assigned and conducted a pilot project testing the use of drones for inspecting the airport fences at Svolvær Airport. The project was implemented in the second half of 2019,” says Sølve Grimkelsrud, the CCO of Senseloop.
Senseloop provides services related to automatic and remote-controlled drone operations. The aim of remote-controlled drone operations is to eliminate the need for a drone pilot on the ground. The company deploys drone hangars with drones that are remotely controlled from a drone operation center in Oslo. The drone operations themselves are carried out in close collaboration with the tower/air traffic control service at the airport in question.
These types of drone operations involve a significant amount of data collection and the combination of data from multiple sources. Basefarm possesses key expertise in this area, including advanced data processing and artificial intelligence.
“As this project has demonstrated, big data and data science are keys to automation and streamlining in the future. Our expertise in the fields of machine learning and image analysis played a crucial role in winning the contract,” says Knut Rand, VP for Data-Driven Solutions at Basefarm.
Basefarm’s data science initiative involves 20 data scientists and an even larger group of data engineers.
The intention is that a successful pilot project will mean that the concept can also be used at more of Avinor’s 44 airports in Norway, including for the development of further automatic monitoring services in addition to fence monitoring. Other factors beyond the results of the pilot project will determine whether this actually becomes a reality.