Fagernes Airport deploys autonomous snowploughs

21 March 2018 (Last Updated March 21st, 2018 11:57)

Norway’s Fagernes Airport has deployed self-driving snowploughs to clear snow from the runway in a bid to increase efficiency and reduce delays at airports.

Norway’s Fagernes Airport has deployed self-driving snowploughs to clear snow from the runway in a bid to increase efficiency and reduce delays at airports.

Yeti Snow Technology, which is co-owned by Semcon and Øveraasen, developed the project initially for Norwegian airport operator Avinor in November 2016.

The 20m-long and 5.5m-wide autonomous snowploughs are capable of cleaning the runway in all weather.

“Autonomous snowploughs will allow airports all over the world to streamline their activities and reduce delays for their passengers.”

Semcon CEO Markus Granlund said: “Autonomous snowploughs will allow airports all over the world to streamline their activities and reduce delays for their passengers.

“This is a good example of how autonomous vehicles can increase profitability and add value for people.”

Clearing snow at airports is crucial if flights are to depart and land on time. Currently, airports always need to be prepared and have staff on standby to clear snow whenever required.

The snowploughs are capable of clearing an area of 357,500m² in an hour and can clear snow in patterns with several vehicles working together.

Semcon project manager John Emil Halden said: “We have designed a control system that sets up digital patterns for autonomous snow clearance at airports.

“The system can then download these patterns and monitor a number of vehicles that navigate using RTK GPS, an accurate form of position measurement, and communicate using 4G modems.”

Øveraasen has provided its deep technical knowledge, while Semcon Devotek offered its expertise in complex real-time systems and autonomous technology.