HMI oversees air traffic control operation

Hmi products from modicon and telemecanique will soon be helping newcastle international airport ensure high levels of availability for essential ground-based air traffic control installations, including radar and the airport’s instrument landing system.

A Magelis-based system installed at the airport continuously monitors equipment and provides air traffic controllers and engineering staff with visual confirmation of equipment status and alarm condition. The use of touch screen terminals means that further information is available by touching the relevant area of the screen. Available information includes alarm logs and guidance on the most appropriate action to take in the case of an equipment failure.

The monitoring system installed for air traffic engineering incorporates one 10.4in touchscreen terminal with full colour TFT display, three 5.7in touchscreens all controlled by a Modicon Momentum PLC. The smaller terminals are located in the control tower, the emergency tower and the radar room while the 10.4in unit is sited in the air traffic engineering control room.

The three terminals in close proximity to the PLC are connected using a Modbus Plus network. The terminal in the emergency control tower, which is almost 1km away from the main installation is connected by a Modbus-ethernet-Modbus link incorporating bridges.

“After we had overcome our initial unfamiliarity with the products, the Magelis terminals proved to be straight forward to program and use,” said Paul Boydell, air traffic engineer at the airport. “We were able to produce graphics on the screen so they resembled the old pushbutton and indicator system.”