Airport surface monitoring with ODS Open Platform and NetBeans Platform

NetBeans at Heathrow Airport

Michael Wimmer

Harris has used its ODS Open Platform, based on the NetBeans Platform, to create the new “Airside Monitor”, a product deployed together with NATS at Heathrow airport.

Airside Monitor, based on ODS Open Platform, by Harris, consists of an airport map and its underlying business intelligence and provides two main functionalities:

  • Monitoring taxi events in order to provide the Aircraft Sequencer (TSAT Generator) with updated taxi duration times.
  • Monitoring Airfield Flow Manager events to produce alerts based on ground surveillance and AMAN/DMAN data.

Both functions are based on surface monitoring events using the airport secondary radar feed in conjunction with user definable geo-fences.

Features visible in the screenshot above and below:

  • In the top left the situation display:
    • Aircraft detected by the airport radar are shown. Once aircraft reach their gate they switch off their transponders, that’s why aircraft standing at the gates are not displayed.
    • If an aircraft is known to arrive, it gets a brown label. Departing aircraft have blue labels. Aircraft with unknown intent have black labels.
    • The green areas are the geo-fencing areas where flights entering or leaving them feed the monitoring logic. New geo-fencing areas can be drawn by the user if needed. Normally, these areas and not shown (see screen shot number 2).
    • If an aircraft triggers an alert its label and the respective areas are highlighted in yellow until the alert is acknowledged.
    • All this is custom graphics currently implemented using Java2D.
  • The  two lists at the bottom show the alerts and taxi events. The taxi events are forwarded to the departure planning software (TSAT generator).
  • In the upper right the configured detection areas, taxi monitorings and alerts can be created, deleted and edited.
  • All the monitoring logic is implemented in a backend also using the ODS Open (and NetBeans) Platform. The display processes connect to that backend to display and edit the data.


Michael Wimmer

Senior Software Architect