Remote airport traffic control center with augmented vision video panorama
Research is described for realizing a Remote Airport Traffic Control Center (DLR project RAiCe) for remote surveillance and control of several small airports from a central location. Work and task analyses performed in a previous project resulted in the concept of a high resolution video panorama system with zoom and augmented vision functions as controllers main HMI in the Remote Tower Center (RTC). Video-see-through augmentation of the reconstructed outside view by means of superimposed flight information and data from electronic non-visual sources is supposed to improve the controllers situational awareness. The augmented vision function allows for a compact RTO-work environment due to its potential for reduction of displays. A corresponding 180Â°-video panorama system was set up as experimental testbed at Braunschweig research airport which served for initial field testing. It consists of four digital high resolution CCD cameras located near Braunschweig tower, and a remotely controlled pan-tilt zoom (PTZ) camera (including automatic tracking option) with PC clusters for compression, image processing/movement detection, decompression and panorama reconstruction, and a 450 m fiberoptic Gbit Ethernet link between sensor and display clusters. Field testing of the reconstructed far view with participation of local controllers shows an effective visual resolution of <2 arcmin in agreement with the theoretical predictions. The PTZ camera provides a "foveal" vision with a high resolution exceeding the human eye (1 arcmin) within an observation angle <15Â°. In addition to the experimental testbed simulation systems for two-airport control are under development for support of the RTC work environment design, based on a 200Â°-tower-simulator with RTO-console extension and a simplified two-airport microworld computer simulation for laboratory type part task simulations.