What should you know about airports and how they function?

What should you know about airports and how they function?

Airports can be described in two words: organised chaos. Millions of passengers travelling to thousands of destinations with hundreds of airlines all with their own fleet of aircraft and crew to look after. With this amount of air traffic, it is easy to see that the logistics required for a smooth, safe and efficient operation are staggering. The travelling passenger may only see a tiny fraction of the systems in place designed to get them where they should be safely and without incident.

 

What causes airport disruptions?

 

Computer systems crashing, freak storms and adverse weather conditions, human error and even civilians intent on causing mayhem can disrupt operations at an airport. Even a small delay measured in minutes can have a knock-on effect lasting hours, even days. In December 2018 hundreds of flights were halted at London’s Gatwick Airport after there were reports of drone sightings close to the runway. The incident lasted just 3 days but disrupted 140,000 passengers.

 

Airport operations that improve efficiency

 

Consider airports as an oasis in the desert, the only place where air traffic can take off and land safely while mitigating the millions of potential hazards outside the safety fence. It is imperative that airport systems operate at peak efficiency and sync together in a web of operational unity. Here is a ‘behind the scenes’ in-depth look at some of those systems, their complexity and inter-connectivity.

 

Electronic Flight Strips

 

For decades, paper flight strips have been used by ATC (Air Traffic Controllers) to keep track of flights in the air. They are now being upgraded with Electronic Flight Strips, which are set to change flight operations significantly. EFS will allow for real-time updates, streamline the planning process, and allow data sharing. EFS systems answer questions like ‘has the traffic volume fluctuated?’ and ‘has the weather changed severely enough to affect air travel?’.

 

The EFS system will update the system promptly, including memory aids for the ATC in the event of a closed runway to reduce human error. The EFS is fully integrated into other systems where it is deployed to reduce the impact of adverse events on air travel.

 

Baggage Reconciliation System

 

Passengers and airlines agree that lost luggage can be the most annoying and time-consuming mistake that can happen, reducing trust in a carrier. It is a negative experience for everybody, not to mention a security risk if an unauthorized bag gets onto a plane without a corresponding passenger.

 

The Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS), uses computer-generated tags to track a bag through every stage of its journey in real-time and matches all loaded bags with passengers onboard an aircraft. It is very similar to modern parcel tracking systems used in the postal service.

 

The system is highly efficient as it takes advantage of existing airport systems like BagLink gateways to send and receive baggage messages in standard IATA formats. This system also allows baggage handlers to know exactly where a bag is located, even accurate down to the individual container onboard the aircraft. In the event a bag must be removed, it can be quickly located with 100% accuracy.

 

Thanks to the ingenuity of humans and advancements in technology, we know that we can board flights safe in the knowledge that everything that can be done to improve safety and reduce risk is done, many, many times a day, every day.

 

If you’re looking for trusted aviation solutions, contact our team at Bayanat Engineering today.

Helipads and heliports

Helipads and heliports

The helicopter’s ability to travel long distances at high speed, take-off and land without a runway and maneuver in tight spaces makes them useful for a wide range of applications, including search and rescue, VIP transfers, air ambulance and more.

 

But these adaptable machines would not be able to operate safely without the use of helipads or heliports. While helicopters can land on almost any flat surface, it is not always practical or safe to do so.

 

That’s where helipads come into play, as they provide a safe space for helicopters to take off and land without inconveniencing the public. So, in this blog, we are going to look at the history and facts around these unsung heroes of aviation.

 

Helipad history

 

Despite being commonplace today, the helipad is actually a relatively new invention. The first purpose-built pads were constructed by the U.S. Army during the Korean War in the 1950s.

 

Early pads were used to evacuate soldiers injured on the frontline in the mountainous terrain of North Korea. The pads proved so successful their use was expanded during the Vietnam war to allow troops to be moved quickly around inaccessible jungle terrain.

 

Today there are estimated to be more than 15,000 heliports in use around the world. The UAE has the highest number of heliports per capita with an estimated in active use, supporting a fleet of 77 civil and 199 military helicopters.

 

What’s the difference between a helipad and a heliport?

 

Often the word heliport and helipad are used interchangeably, but they are actually two different things. A heliport is a fixed base operation that provides a range of services, including customs, maintenance, fuel bunkering and fire suppression.

 

A helipad, on the other hand, is simply a designated area where a helicopter can land safely. Helipads are typically found at hotels, private residences or hospitals, while heliports are usually found at airports.

 

What types of heliport are available?

 

Heliports are equipped to handle a specific size of aircraft. For example, a large city hospital may have a large integrated heliport, complete with landing lights that allow large air ambulance style aircraft to land day and night. A country house hotel or private residence, however, may only have a small designated area that can be used to transfer passengers. These are often made from grass, so are not suitable for heavy helicopters.

 

Heliports don’t have to be on dry land. Most large ships are equipped with a helipad complete with landing lights capable of supporting large search and rescue style helicopters.

 

Some private yachts are also equipped with a helipad, although these cannot be used while in port. Some of the largest superyachts are even equipped with a hanger and maintenance facilities to keep aircraft well maintained and secure while at sea.

 

Heliport airspace

 

A designated heliport is more than just an area for a helicopter to take off and land. The airspace surrounding the heliport is also considered part of the heliport itself. Together, these two areas are known as the Primary Surface.

 

The Primary Surface consists of a Touchdown and Liftoff (TLOF) area, which provides space for the aircraft to take off and land. The Final Approach and Takeoff (FATO) area is the airspace surrounding the TLOF where the pilot makes his final approach.

 

What is the best material for constructing a heliport?

 

Traditionally, steel and concrete were used to construct heliports, but in recent years, this has been superseded by aluminum. Aluminum allows heliports to be constructed on top of buildings, the decks of ships, oil rigs and even private residences.

 

But you can make a heliport from any hard surface; even grass. However, the material chosen should be suitable for the type and size of aircraft in use. A large multi-engine helicopter such as a Sikorsky S76 can land on grass but a paved area is more suitable.

 

If you would like help designing or installing a new heliport or helipad, get in touch with our aviation specialists today. We have more than 20 years of experience completing aviation projects across the globe, with more than 1300 projects completed to date. Complete the contact form for more information.

Types of radars and sensors in the military

Types of radars and sensors in the military

Throughout the military, there are numerous examples of applications of radars and sensors. In this post, we aim to explore how these examples are used in practice.

 

What is radar? A radar is a measuring device that uses radio waves to advise on the possible angles, ranges, and velocities of a wide range of objects. This technology has been used for many years in the military on aircraft and for guided missiles, for example.

 

What is a sensor? A sensor is an electrical device that acts as a messenger, collecting command-like information from a device and passing it on to the object it is connected to so that it can act accordingly. It’s an example of a piece of technology that has a wide-ranging span of applications in the real world, nonetheless in the military.

 

How is radar technology used in the military?

 

There is a range of applications of radars in military technology, including:

 

Surface Movement Radars

 

Surface Movement Radars are an example of radar technology that could be used in the military. For example, it is a handy feature that can be deployed at night so that fellow or enemy aircraft can be detected. It works using pulsations of microwave energy that bounce around, back and forth. This helps supply information about an object that has been detected by the device.

 

Primary Surveillance Radars

 

Primary Surveillance Radars are another example of radar technology that can be extended towards military technology. Much like the Surface Movement Radar, its function is to detect and return information on an object based on the energy that is reflected from and around it. However, it works only on the ground.

 

Secondary Surveillance Radars

 

Secondary Surveillance Radars are much like Primary Surveillance Radars in that they use reflected energy to describe an object. However, unlike Primary Surveillance Radars, Secondary Radars need to be airborne to be able to transmit a signal to a ground-based detector.

 

How is sensor technology used in the military?

 

There is a range of applications of sensors that are used in military technology, including:

 

Meteorological sensors

 

Meteorological sensors are an example of sensory technology that can be used by the military. It’s a technology whose purpose is to measure all sorts of different climates and weather observations. This includes – but is not limited to – detections of wind, pressure, temperature, humidity, cloud height, rain, and solar radiation.

 

This means that it’s a valuable way to gain insight into unknown territories to be able to understand the different ways in which an aircraft, for example, should be prepared for travel.

 

People counting sensors

 

People counting sensors are another example of sensory technology that is used in air passenger travel that could have military applications. It works by employing sensors that detect when motion breaks the beams i.e when a human crosses past. These beams are invisible to the naked eye, and so a person does not know when they are crossed.

 

For more information on the types of radars and sensors in the military, contact our team at Qatar Bayanat Engineering today.

Different types of sensors in the airspace engineering

Different types of sensors in the airspace engineering

In aviation, to ensure an aircraft functions effectively and safely, a plethora of complex equipment and systems are required. Electronic sensors play a huge role in aircraft. They allow for efficacious feedback of a variety of flight conditions and help measure variables such as control and navigation. A broad range of sensors is used in aviation, as you might imagine, to help operations run as smoothly as possible.

In fact, there are too many to mention in one article, so let’s take a look at some of the key sensors that are featured in airspace engineering today.

Liquid level sensors

These sensors assist with the all-important matter of fuel. They monitor fuel, oil and coolant levels. They also monitor fluid levels in wastewater reservoirs, hydraulic reservoirs and collection sumps.

Flow sensors

These work in combination with liquid level sensors and they monitor the flow rates of liquid levels in an aircraft. This includes the flow rate and quantities of lubricating oil and coolant fuel in bleed air systems and fuel transfer systems.

Temperature sensors

These help with observing the temperature of a range of engine parts in the aircraft. Consisting of thermometers, bi-metallic temperature gauges, ratiometers, Wheatstone bridge indicators and thermocouple temperature indicators, temperature sensors measure fuel, hydraulic oils, environmental cooling systems and refrigerants. Being able to keep an eye on whether components of an engine become too hot or cold can help detect any potential faults.

Pressure sensors

Based on a pre-set figure at the sensing location, pressure sensors allow a pilot to see whether pressure levels are above or below this figure. They monitor the pressure in raising and lowering landing gear, oxygen tanks, hydraulic systems, and braking, heating and cooling fluids.

Position sensors

These help to provide position reference, responsible for angular and rotatory measurements and movements of an aircraft. Rotary variable differential transformers (RVDT) and linear variable differential transformers (LVDT) are the most common kinds of positional sensors you will find in aircraft engineering.

Force and vibration sensors

These measure the force and torque in control systems on an aircraft, including braking systems and ailerons.

Gyroscopes

Gyroscopes allow for the measurement of angular velocity and assist with direction indication. They control flight instruments such as attitude indicators and turn indicators. As well as mechanical versions, gyroscopes can be found in a ring laser format and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) gyroscopes.

Altimeters

Altimeters monitor the altitude of an aircraft by measuring static air pressure. They measure the height of a plane above a fixed level.

Magnetometers and compasses

By measuring the Earth’s magnetic field, these two sensors help indicate the direction of an aircraft.

Tachometers

An aircraft requires a tachometer for each of its engines. These measure the revolutions per minute (RPM) of an aeroplane engine.

In summary

To ensure an aircraft and its pilot fulfil their desired duties, it’s important to have these kinds of sensors. Measuring flight conditions allow for the accurate risk assessment, optimal control and efficient operation of these aerospace vehicles.

Interesting meteorology technology

Interesting meteorology technology

Meteorology technology exists at the heart of an airport’s day-to-day operations. No matter what the season, whether an airport is in the heat of summer or the depths of winter, getting a thorough understanding of weather conditions can give pilots a better idea of what they might deal with and any mitigating actions that might need to be taken. Read on to find more about the advanced systems and technologies used to keep planes, pilots, and passengers safe from the elements.

 

Weather RADAR and LIDAR

 

Weather radar is a very specifically designed technology, with the goal of finding clouds and precipitation in the air. This can be used to establish the structure of storms, helping pilots to find the safest routes possible to their destination. By combining this with LIDAR, a system that uses light pulses to establish wind patterns, pilots can have a safe way mapped through any dangerous weather conditions that could emerge. Lightning detectors are also useful for this and can help to keep planes out of electrical storms.

 

Runway Visual Range

 

Runway Visual Range, or RVR, isn’t a system for helping to establish what the weather is, but it can be a great tool in a pilot’s arsenal. The RVR is the range at which a pilot can see runway markings from the centreline of the runway. A shorter RVR can mean that precipitation or clouds are affecting a pilot’s vision, or in the case of Qatar’s Hamad International Airport, they may be dealing with issues such as sandstorms. Navigation technologies such as Instrument Landing Systems can be vital when RVR is minimal.

 

Cloud seeding

 

Cloud seeding is one of the most advanced and helpful tools an airport can use. Rather than simply keeping an eye on what the weather is doing, you can get some level of control over it by using cloud seeding. This is the process of leaving substances in the air to form part of a cloud’s condensation, helping you to change the amount and even type of precipitation coming out of the cloud. This can help you to clear the way for pilots by making it rain elsewhere, and can help you to make the process of landing significantly easier for all of the planes on the way in.

 

Weather Decision Support Systems

 

Initially created to help in the launching of rockets for orbital missions, weather decision support systems are designed to offer advice to air traffic controllers in the case of adverse weather. They can account for swathes of data and help to reach a decision that can protect not only the people in the air but the airport itself in the case of an accident. By using these advanced systems, airports can be assured of better-advised decision-making and pilot safety in the long run.

 

Find out more

 

Bayanat Engineering is proud to design and build a range of weather detection and protection technologies in Qatar, helping airlines and airports to keep their passengers and pilots as safe as possible. Get in touch with the Bayanat team to find out more about our range of airport technologies.

How remote tower airports are set to transform airport traffic management

How remote tower airports are set to transform airport traffic management?

The airport control tower has been at the centre of airport traffic management for over a century. The first tower became operational at Croydon Aerodrome, London in 1920 and today it is difficult to imagine an airport without one.

But advances in technology mean that the days of the traditional airport control tower could be numbered. That doesn’t mean traffic will be left to manage itself, but that runway management and apron traffic will be managed from a remote tower facility.

What are remote towers?

Remote digital towers (RDTs) enable air traffic control duties to be managed from a remote location. This is possible due to advances in HD camera technology that allows air traffic controllers to monitor both the glideslope and the apron from any location.

Remote towers are laid out in the same way as a conventional ATC tower, but the control room is based in a low rise office building with large LCD screens replacing the tower windows. This allows a remote tower to operate in much the same way as a traditional tower.

Can remote towers replace traditional control towers?

While remote towers are still relatively new, with only a few active installations at smaller airports, there is no reason why their use cannot be expanded to replace traditional control towers.

To highlight the maturity of the technology, London City Airport, located in the heart of London’s Docklands, has recently replaced its traditional ATC tower with a remote digital tower.

All flights into and out of the airport are now managed from a state-of-the-art enhanced reality digital control tower, located in the National Air Traffic Control centre 115km away in Swanwick.

What are the advantages of Remote Digital Towers?

Remote digital towers promise a range of operational benefits along with enhanced safety for passengers.

Cost

Remote Digital Towers have much lower CAPEX than traditional facilities. And because one facility can be used to manage several airports, they promise higher productivity and significant operational savings as well.

Enhanced situational awareness

The  Remote Tower solution overlays aircraft types and flight numbers on the LCD screen to enhance situational awareness for controllers. This has several benefits including reducing aircraft and vehicle incursions onto active runways.

Better visibility

The latest camera technology provides better visibility for controllers in all conditions. Low light and infra-red cameras can be used to provide a much clearer picture of the airspace and apron, especially during bad weather or low light level conditions.

Upgradability

Because RDT systems are built using modular components they are much easier to update than traditional ATC technology. This means airports can benefit from enhancements much more readily than conventional systems.

Flexibility

The technology can also be easily expanded, which facilitates airport expansion and operational changes. The removal of ATC towers also frees up space on the airfield for terminal expansion.

What remote towers mean for smaller airports

Remote tower technologies promise greater benefits to smaller airports than larger ones. Airports that have previously been considered too small for a conventional ATC tower, can now benefit from full airspace management at a fraction of the cost.

This will improve safety at these airports and allow them to accept larger aircraft and expand operations without the investment associated with building conventional ATC tower infrastructure.

Need help transforming your air traffic management?

If you would like more information about how remote tower airport technology can be used to augment or replace your current ATC setup, get in touch today.

We offer a range of proven air traffic management solutions from leading vendors including Thales and SAAB. And because RDT technology is completely scalable, we can design a system to support any size of operation from an international airport to a regional aerodrome.

How can human body temperature scanners help get international travel back off the ground?

How can human body temperature scanners help get international travel back off the ground?

The ongoing pandemic of Covid-19 has already had a huge impact on the aerospace industry, with huge players in flight and plane manufacturing taking big hits for over a year. With many countries around the world now beginning vaccination programs with a view to putting an end to lockdowns and travel bans, the future is looking somewhat brighter for the air travel industry.

But while effective vaccinations may mean international travel is once again possible, this doesn’t mean that the industry can go back to the way things were; leading scientists have made it clear that it’s likely that Covid-19 is here to stay, and with it, measures to lessen the spread of the virus. Human body temperature scanners installed in airports and other travel hubs are an ideal way to screen passengers for potential signs of Covid-19 and other viruses before embarking upon a flight.

How do human body temperature scanners work?

Human body temperature scanners use infrared (IR) radiation, which the human body emits at frequencies that are picked up by modern scanners and converted into temperature readings. Temperature scanners which measure temperature using IR technology are available as both small, handheld scanners and more scalable thermal scanning cameras (TSCs). Handheld scanners can be used to scan individuals, while thermal scanning cameras can be used to quickly and accurately measure the temperatures of a large body of people, for example at an airport check-in desk.

Human body temperature scanners can be used in different ways depending on the targets and requirements of use. TSCs can be used to flag up all passengers with a temperature above normal, which could then either lead to instant postponement of travel or further health checks to investigate other symptoms.

We’ve got vaccinations: why do we need human body temperature scanners now?

It’s clear around the world that international travel is the last great hurdle of this pandemic; partially, because for many countries with great vaccination programs, international travel still opens up a lot of unknowns. Even with a vaccinated population, countries could be vulnerable to travellers bringing home new strains of Covid-19 from overseas, or small pockets of Covid-19 causing local epidemics in areas where vaccination rates might be lower than normal.

Installing human body temperature scanners is just one step towards making international travel safe again. By taking simple precautions where possible, the travel industry can assure passengers, politicians, and stakeholders that all avenues are being explored to ensure that international travel will remain safe over the coming years.

What we do

At Bayanat, we are experts in engineering and tech solutions for the aerospace industry, offering a huge range of services including surveillance, communication, air traffic management and consultancy services across the sector. To find out more about how human body temperature scanners could improve safety and passenger satisfaction in your airport or travel hub, please just get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to talk you through our innovative solutions to the problems posed by the current pandemic.

The importance of precise engineering in facilitating military operations

 

The importance of precise engineering in facilitating military operations

The manufacturing of military technologies is vital for the success of armies around the world. Military engineering is a vast field and includes the designing and building of military structures, vehicles, communications technologies, and more.

 

The practice of military engineering stretches far back to Ancient Roman times when inventive individuals laid the groundwork for success on the battlefield. Today, military engineering requires amazing precision and skill to ensure personnel is able to serve and protect their country using cutting-edge technologies.

 

What is the purpose of military engineering?

 

The main tasks of military engineers include:

  • To offer strategic support

This could include the construction of airfields, upgrading ports, improving railway links, and repairing roads. Other forms of strategic support could include the installation of radar technologies to bolster communications between units or track enemy movements.

 

  • To offer ancillary support

Ancillary support could include the safe disposal of undetonated warheads and the provision of precise maps.

 

  • To aid combat

This is perhaps the most significant part of an engineer’s job and could include the construction of fortifications, vehicles, tanks, weapons, and more.

 

Why is precision so important in military engineering?

Military engineering is a difficult field to enter, with only the most skilled practitioners invited to offer their services to armies and other military organizations. The reason for this exclusivity is that military engineering requires an amazingly high level of mathematical and technical precision. Here’s why:

  • It makes the equipment more durable

In a hostile environment, it is fundamental that military personnel can rely on their machines. Precise engineering could ensure that a tank is less susceptible to wear and tear, for example, therefore reducing the likelihood that it breaks down during critical situations.

 

  • Precise engineering is more cost-effective

Creating technologies with precision can help to lower their running costs. What’s more, by honing the accuracy with which parts are manufactured, engineers can lessen reduce the need for regular inspections and repairs and, therefore, save the time of senior military personnel.

 

  • Ensures reliability

Even a slight engineering error can throw a complex military operation off course. As such, precision engineers must avoid mathematical errors and design mistakes at all costs.

  • Helps military personnel to pull off tasks accurately

Military jobs often require workers to complete tasks to a very high level of precision. Whether the job involves landing a plane or controlling a blast, accurate tools can make the difference between success and failure.

  • Improves safety

Keeping military personnel as safe as possible is of paramount importance for commanders and leaders. Although it is impossible to completely shelter workers from harm, precision engineering can help to reduce the chances of injury and property damage. Remember – keeping military personnel safe on the job is vital for ensuring projects and campaigns are delivered successfully and on time.

 

Find out more about our engineering solutions

Interested in finding out more about our engineering solutions and how they’re helping a variety of sectors around the world? Get in touch today or browse our website for more information.

CCTV and its technology advancement

 

CCTV and its technology advancement: How it helps us in everyday life

CCTV, or closed-circuit television, is today one of the most commonly used security systems in the world. CCTV systems allow the capture and recording of footage so that business premises, homes, and storage facilities can be monitored for trespassers, burglars, fires, and other potential security risks.

Today, Qatar’s CCTV market is among the fastest-growing in the Middle East, in part because of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup. According to forecasts, Qatar’s CCTV market is expected to grow by 14% between 2016 and 2021

Many people don’t realise how ubiquitous CCTV is in the modern world. From shopping malls to football stadiums to private homes, CCTV is all around us. Let’s take a look at how far we’ve come, and just big of a role CCTV technology plays in everyday modern life.

<h2>How CCTV technology has advanced</h2>

The origins of CCTV technology date back to 1942 in Germany, when Walter Bruch designed a primitive CCTV system to monitor V-2 rockets. Early CCTV systems like this one only allowed live monitoring, and it wasn’t until the 1970s when VCRs became available that recording CCTV footage became an affordable and realistic option for most users.

Another leap forwards was made in the 1980s, when multiplexing became possible. Multiplexing allows multiple CCTV cameras to feed into one monitor and record onto a single tape, making it much easier for large numbers of CCTV cameras to be monitored at a single source.

More recently, of course, the digital revolution has also played its part in transforming CCTV technology. Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) make recording and storing CCTV footage simpler and more efficient, and today even small businesses and residential homes can quickly and cost-effectively set up and run their own CCTV systems.

Today, NVRs, or Network Video Recorders, make remote viewing of CCTV cameras at other sites easier and better quality, so security staff don’t even need to be onsite any more to closely monitor CCTV.

How do we use CCTV today?

Most people don’t think about CCTV on a daily basis, and they certainly don’t realise the part it plays in everyday life. Already, many large business premises including hotels, shopping malls, and stadiums have their own complex CCTV systems, and they are becoming increasingly common in private homes, too.

In some countries, CCTV is even more common; in the US, there are 15.28 CCTV cameras for every 100 individuals, and countries including Qatar are no doubt heading in the same direction.

While some people might dislike the idea of CCTV capturing their every move, for most people it will prove to be positive in the long run. CCTV can help to maintain public order, prevent crime and antisocial behavior, and provide evidence in cases where crimes have been caught on camera. In the long term, the more CCTV cameras an area has, the more economic growth can occur, because crime rates decrease.

There are also a huge number of commercial uses for CCTV cameras outside of traditional security and crime prevention. CCTV is often used today on runways and in airports to detect foreign objects before takeoff and landing. Foreign objects like debris, plastic bags, shells, and even wildlife can cause serious incidents on the runway, and CCTV provides a simple way to monitor these locations from the comfort and safety of an office. At Bayanat Engineering Qatar, we provide these solutions and more to the aeronautics and aerospace industry, helping keep aircraft, personnel and passengers safe.