• 10 — 11 — 2022
ESA Spark Funding Austria

Aeroficial Intelligence: Smart Air Traffic Lights

The number of scheduled passengers in the global aviation industry has increased from 1.9 billion passengers in 2004 to 4.7 billion in 2019. As airports become busier and busier, cities are building larger airports to meet growing demand. Since infrastructure is not being built quickly enough, resulting in operational constraints and irregularities, there must be solutions to help increase predictability.

But how can the current air traffic management industry and airports increase efficiency and utilize their infrastructure better, saving emissions and costs?

The Austrian start-up Aeroficial Intelligence, which was incubated in ESA BIC Austria and now received the ESA Spark Funding Austria, is the expert company in surveillance and aviation data analysis increasing efficiency in airport and air traffic management. With its comprehensive database of flight trajectories recorded from the onboard transponder of aircraft in combination with the large set of KPI insights, artificial intelligence can be applied to improve future aircraft movements during or before landing and take-off so that airports can operate more efficiently, and fuel can be saved which in turn will help reduce CO2 emissions and noise pollution. Aeroficial has proven and developed its excellent capabilities and expertise through its participation in various internationally recognized projects together with market leaders. Most recently Aeroficial Intelligence was selected to calculate potential carbon emission savings as part of the Singapore Aviation Accelerator Program.

As in-house developments in post-flight analytics for airports reach a level of maturity, Aeroficial Intelligence is currently shifting development efforts towards live analytics as well as predictions for the live environment. AIrrival will provide predicted landing and gate arrival times (GAT) to Airports and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) using space-based ADS-B data. In this way, the product developed within AIrrival becomes scalable and can be easily implemented at different airports around the world, which makes it overall competitive and cost-effective.

The project aims to set the foundation for determining an accurate prediction of the arrival time for incoming flights to a specific airport in real-time. This time should initially be predicted at an outer marker or a certain distance from the arrival airport and continuously be updated at key points during the approach. The predicted times consider the approach phase, the entire taxi-in process and possible traffic congestion in the air and on the ground. 

“For Aeroficial Intelligence, AIrrival will set the key foundation for the future application of machine learning on top of our large collection of reliable air traffic KPIs. AIrrival will help our clients to get reliable values making daily life much easier and fundamentally increasing efficiency,” says Julian Jank, CEO of Aeroficial Intelligence.

Following the completion of AIrrival, the generated capabilities and know-how are going to set the foundation to develop machine learning models and bring them to a stage of commercialisation for the non-space target market.

About ESA Spark Funding Austria

ESA Spark Funding Austria is a funding program implemented by Science Park Graz / ESA Space Solutions Austria in collaboration with ESA Space Solutions and the Austrian Aeronautics and Space Agency (FFG/ALR). In the program, Austrian companies can receive zero-equity funding of € 50,000.00 to integrate space technology or space assets/services into existing product lines or create entirely new products/services. The first call was implemented in 2021, and a new one will be launched in 2023.

A big thanks to the author of this article: Aigerim Rabl


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