Snow-body's Behind the Wheel
“This is a good example of how autonomous vehicle can increase profitability and add value for people”. -Markus Granlund, CEO at Semcon
Every winter, adverse weather causes delays to aircraft movements at airports across the world. But what if there was a more efficient, safer and cost effective option to keep airports open during these snow storms?
In Norway, the first ever autonomous snowploughs have been developed to do just the job. In March 2018, at Fagernes Airport, 200km North West of Oslo, trials took place to prove the concept that you could have a series of snowploughs clearing snow from the runway and surrounding taxiways in such a way that even during the most severe storms, the airport can remain open throughout.
These snowploughs needed to have a reliable cellular connection and accurate GPS positioning to operate.
The Antenna LPAM-BC3G-26
The LGAM-BC3G-26-3SP antenna, commonly known as the Mohawk Antenna, was selected for the role of RF antenna for this challenge.
The antenna covers full wideband 698-3800MHz so all 2G, 3G and 4G bands and it has an integrated GPS/ GNSS module inside the housing.
The Mohawk Antenna is small, low profile and ruggedised enabling it to function in the severe conditions of Norway’s winters. This multi-function antenna has single-hole mounting making it quick and simple to install.
This excellent functionality and it durable ability to survive the harsh conditions makes it an ideal solution for this application.
Yeti Snow Technology, a company jointly owned by Semcon and Øveraasen, conducted the trial.
Semcon is a large Swedish technology integrator involved in the automotive industry who aim to turn technology into excellent user experiences.
Øveraasen is a leading snow removal equipment manufacturer. They have developed and manu- factured snow ploughs, snow blowers and runway sweepers for more than 80 years.
The Mohawk Antenna was mounted to the roof of the drivers cab on the snowplough and connected to an Advantech SmartStart cellular router sup- plied by our Norwegian distributor partner, EMCOM AS.
The snowploughs can clear an area of 357,500m2 an hour and multiple snowploughs can work together in formation. The prospect of autonomous snow clearing will reduce the need of staffing and help streamlining the airport operations.
Working together, this solution provided seam- less and uninterrupted cellular connectivity to the vehicle whilst also having pinpoint accuracy in poor conditions critical for the concept to be proven.
The next step towards autonomy is to test the technology at Oslo international airport, as a integrated part of the regular snow clearing service.