Following a competitive procurement, the Royal Navy has become the fourth UK customer to select Saab’s Digital Towers as part of a framework contract. The technology, which enables air traffic services to be conducted remotely, will also enhance the controllers’ situational awareness, through video, automatic tracking, graphic overlays, and enhanced safety tools. The Royal Navy follows London City Airport, Cranfield University and the Royal Air Force in adopting the leading edge technology that will be delivered within 2021. In the UK, Cranfield Airport is operating Saab´s system and London City will also operate the Saab solution starting later this year.
“Saab’s leading air traffic management technologies have a beneficial role to play for both British civilian and military customers. The Royal Navy’s adoption of digital towers is an example of how the British Armed Forces embrace innovative solutions and Saab is delighted to support their forward looking vision,” said Magnus Lewis-Olsson, Chairman of Saab UK.
“This is an important step in the Royal Navy’s continued development and exploitation of remote system technology to enhance the way air traffic services are delivered, improving controller efficiency and providing a safe operating environment for air systems,” said Cdr Mick Gladwin, Royal Navy.
Saab’s Digital Tower is a next-generation solution that builds on proven Saab video processing, visual presentation and automation solutions. The Digital Tower is a flexible and scalable solution for a broad range of use cases. The digital air traffic control solution is a breakthrough in air traffic control and was introduced during 2015 in Sweden when Örnsköldsvik Airport became the first airport in the world with remote air traffic control. The Saab Digital Tower was the first to be operationally certified by an ANSP. The Saab solution is used to operate the Ornskoldsvik airport from the Remote Tower Centre in Sundsvall since April 2015.
Conceptually, Saab’s Digital Tower is comprised of two major parts: On-Airport Equipment and a Control Facility. The On-Airport Equipment can be located at the local airport or at multiple remote airports. Its configuration varies as a function of the specific Digital Tower use case. It can include panoramic or IR or PTZ cameras providing coverage of the area of interest, as well as signal light guns and sound sensors to help capture the airport sound when needed. The Control Facility has a great degree of variability, depending on the specific use case. In the most common case, a Digital Tower Center (DTC), consisting of a number of Digital Tower Modules (DTMs), controls one or more airports, some simultaneously