KONGSBERG Remote Towers - demonstration of remote tower capabilities in Australia

Kongsberg Defence Australia, with the support of Indra Australia, is currently showcasing the KONGSBERG Remote Towers solution deployed at RAAF Amberley. The Remote Towers solution, with its advanced electro-optical sensors, is controlled from the Remote Tower Module (RTM) located approximately 1200 kilometres away at Kongsberg Defence Australia’s Canberra office.

Representatives from the Australian Defence Force, Airservices Australia, and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority last week attended live system demonstrations in Canberra, conducted under the sponsorship of the RAAF Air Warfare Centre Innovation Hub.

As previously demonstrated at RAAF Amberley, the RTM demonstrates high resolution real-time live panoramic streaming of imagery across an ordinary commercial point-to-point connection, providing the same ‘Out of the Window’ view quality as sitting in a tower at the airfield. Additionally, instant remote control of the pan-tilt-zoom camera and other system operations was available through commercial network connections, enabling remote tower operations. Live infrared image streaming is also proving to be an effective situational awareness asset at night, particularly in monitoring movements of wildlife.

John Fry, General Manager of Kongsberg Defence Australia, said the new technology will advance Australia’s capacity to provide air traffic services in remote locations across the country.

“With military operations that include remote air bases, orphan airfields, firing ranges, and local civilian airports, the ability to implement stable real-time remote operations across a low bandwidth connection provides significant opportunities for a country like Australia”.

“The implementation of this technology will reduce operating and infrastructure costs, and will open up opportunities for remote locations and communities all over the country. Kongsberg Defence Australia would like to acknowledge the great team effort we have had together with the RAAF Air Warfare Centre, 44 Wing, and Indra Australia that has made this successful demonstration possible. We are now excited to explore new opportunities to field this technology in Australia and the region”.

The KONGSBERG Remote Towers solution was recently commissioned in Norway for Avinor Air Navigation Services in the world’s largest remote tower project, and this is the first installation of the system in a remote configuration outside of Norway.

The system will remain active and available for further demonstrations into early 2020.