At ADB SAFEGATE we are building our way towards Airfield 4.0. Airfield 4.0 is the aviation industry’s implementation of Industry 4.0 and is regularly called the next industrial revolution. This next revolution centers around the digitalization of airfield operations. Digitalization – driven by automation, machine-to-machine communication and cross-platform data exchange – will enable airports to achieve greater operational efficiency.

At ADB SAFEGATE we are building our way towards Airfield 4.0.

Airfield 4.0 is the aviation industry’s implementation of Industry 4.0 and is regularly called the next industrial revolution. This next revolution centers around the digitalization of airfield operations. Digitalization – driven by automation, machine-to-machine communication and cross-platform data exchange – will enable airports to achieve greater operational efficiency. By interconnecting all operational processes, they are not only streamlined and optimized, but this new level of collaboration also makes data available and provides actionable insight. This interconnectivity is the foundation for real-time, data-driven decision making.

Airfield 4.0 will stay a mere vision if we do not start building on the connectivity layer today. LINC 360, our next-generation power line communication platform, facilities high-capacity data transmission to build upon that layer for the future.

Traditional power line-based individual light control and monitoring systems (ILCMS) have existed for three decades and have been heavily focused on downstream communication. The systems are optimized to control light fittings quickly, reliably and predictably. But the feedback remains limited to a maximum of a few status bits, indicating the operational status of lights.

With LINC 360, we’ve developed a newer generation of powerline communication, far better equipped to handle true bidirectional communication. Downstream assets communicate to an upstream application layer. And with the increased bandwidth from our proprietary power line communication platform, we can create more comprehensive, two-way communication between the asset and application layers, taking us beyond the classical individual light control and monitoring systems.

As a power line communication system, LINC 360 leverages the existing airfield circuit cabling as a communication channel. It provides the known benefits of ILCMS, such as CAT monitoring and advanced routing systems like A-SMGCS, in a more robust way thanks to better communication principles and forward error correction. But even more importantly, it provides us with the data rate to extend upon in the future. Assets such as light fittings, PAPI units or signs are increasingly being equipped with sensors and even video capturing. Furthermore, having the data rate to send bigger payloads downstream allows us to address signage with flexible messaging. All this data will be upstreamed and interconnected to the application layer of our Airfield 4.0 vision. From there, many enhanced features can be imagined, and operational information that airports need can be readily available via a dashboard for more effective decision making.

With LINC 360, ADB SAFEGATE will start implementing this communication infrastructure today. Futureproofing for the airport of tomorrow.

Global Product Manager, ADB SAFEGATE