Autonomous airport snow clearing: reaching the next level

Oct. 13, 2022
Stuttgart Airport is a test bed for new winter service technology, AviationPros reports.

STUTTGART, Germany - On the Stuttgart apron, the Aebi Schmidt Group and Flughafen Stuttgart GmbH presented what the future of winter service could look like with autonomously operating vehicles and equipment. The system tested at Stuttgart Airport is fully integrated for the first time, AviationPros reports. Continue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

13 October 2022 - The airport sweepers equipped with the so-called AirfieldPilot from the Aebi Schmidt Group are able to clear runways, taxiways and the apron of snow and ice without a driver. Precisely defined routes can already be covered autonomously at Stuttgart Airport. During the test drives, the teams from Aebi Schmidt and the state airport tested various functions. This includes following a route, interacting with other, conventional winter service equipment when driving in a convoy, and using snow ploughs, rotary brushes and blowers in accordance with specified clearing concepts. The new technology is intended to help ensure that the airport is always cleared quickly and efficiently, even when visibility is poor due to darkness or fog.

Automating snow removal at airports is considered challenging. There are special traffic conditions there anyway, which are made even more difficult by winter weather. The requirements for safety and efficiency are high. Autonomous vehicles must be integrated into airport processes and work with centimeter precision. To be on the safe side, there is always a person in the vehicle during the tests who could stop it. When the new developments can be used regularly for snow and ice on the STR for the first time depends primarily on the legal framework.

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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