Major companies’ reports related to innovative services and new-generation computer networks have long indicated that in the coming years we will witness numerous investments connected with the use of technologies which create the possibility of providing new services and applications at airports, from smart gates, beacon technology, mobile devices for moving around airports and face recognition systems, air traffic management, baggage and check-in management, IP security monitoring, communication, ticketing and information systems, information systems related to cargo operations, air traffic, advanced data analysis, management of various aircraft and ground systems with increased autonomy, to continuous monitoring of the mental and physical condition of pilots and passengers.
The use of modern innovative structures and technological and organisational solutions will have a significant impact on increasing aviation safety in the area of air traffic and air operations. It will also contribute to reducing its impact on the environment (noise and CO2 emissions). The recipients of new technologies already include entities such as Police, Border Guard, State Fire Service, emergency services, surveying services.
These expectations are reflected in the joint initiative of Poznan University of Technology, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre and Poznan Aero Club conducted in cooperation with the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency – the construction of a Kąkolewo aerodrome-based, nationally-unique centre of modern technologies in aviation with a supraregional impact in the area of scientific, research and development work aimed to meet the needs of civil aviation.
One of the first projects implemented in Kąkolewo is “AEROSPHERE. The Airport of Things” focused on the preparation of infrastructure for the performance of research and development work in the field of the use and applications of information and communication technologies in the aviation industry. The project is being carried out by Poznan University of Technology and Poznan Superconducting and Networking Centre in cooperation with Poznan Aero Club.
For instance, a complex that is being built in Kąkolewo by Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre will feature a modern base which will include, among others:
- Laboratory of Autonomous and Energy Efficient Airport Infrastructure,
- Laboratory of Airport Safety and Operation Protection,
- Laboratory for the Development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,
- Laboratory for the Development of Flight and Airspace Control Systems.
The elements of the aerospace research centre implemented by Poznan University of Technology as part of the AEROSPHERE 2.0 project include:
- SONSOS – A post of observation, supervision and tracking of satellite objects of Poznan University of Technology. The project will include, among others, 2 astronomical observation domes, elements of laser communication, software managing the operation of the observatory. In addition, all optical and measuring devices will be provided.
- POLYITAN – Aerospace Data Transmission will consist of two towers of transceiver antennas with technical facilities, a set of a parabolic antenna (aperture 4m) with Yagi directional antennas for R&D work, a parabolic antenna for R&D work validation (aperture ~4.5m) and specialised apparatus (a real-time spectrum analyser, a radio frequency generator, programmed radio components, control units).
- OTRK – the Space Robot Testing Centre – a testing ground with a reconfigurable test bed, environmental validation laboratories (a low-pressure chamber, a low-temperature chamber, a microgravity platform), the Mission Control Centre, and UAVs of exploration vehicles.