Greatest challenges for airports
For many years one of the greatest challenges for airports has been access to reliable data to support operations decision-making. Data has existed in silos and data from different sources has not always been consistent. Progress has been made to reduce silos and improve data sharing, but there is still a wealth of valuable data that airport operations management does not have access to. This includes data on the status and performance of essential airport infrastructure, environmental conditions, energy and water consumption, mobile equipment location, and many others. Such data can be considered as part of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and like many other industries, the airport industry can benefit from the harvesting of this data.
Several use cases exist for integrating Operational Technology (OT) with Information Technology (IT). Some examples are illustrated in the diagram below.
The diagram also illustrates the numerous protocols that can be present and must be converted to enable OT/IT integration. Fortunately, there is an ideal solution for connecting systems and converting protocols known as SMARTUNIFIER.
SMARTUNIFIER is a connectivity platform that enables rapid development and deployment of structured, reusable interfaces providing access to key data sources by applications for the optimization of airport operations.
- SMARTUNIFIER can be deployed in the cloud, on-premises and within edge devices, thereby providing industrial connectivity wherever required
- The configuration and deployment of the decentralized SMARTUNIFIER Communication Instances can be completely managed from the Cloud if required
- Low-level data is abstracted providing an airport with a vendor-independent view of heterogeneous systems and data.
- Multiple upper-level systems receive data according to unified information models with multiple parallel communication channels and views such as:
- Control view (Equipment Monitoring and Control, Tracking & Tracing)
- Maintenance view (Condition Monitoring)
- Analytics view (Performance Management)
- Quality view (Preventive & Predictive Quality)
- Energy view (Energy Consumption)
- Data storage and archiving view (Data Lakes)
- Further use case dependent views
- Scalable network-oriented architecture, that can evolve in a structured way to an Enterprise Nervous System (ENS) for airport-wide, or multi-airport connectivity.
Migration to ACRIS standards
To facilitate the efficient sharing of information ACI has established its Aviation Community Recommended Information Services, known as ACRIS, to provide standards for information and data exchange in the aviation community. ACRIS defines a framework for airports, airlines, partners, and suppliers to share information.
A connectivity solution that enables fast, easy, and scalable integration of systems and infrastructure supports the movement toward the digitalization of airport processes. At the same time, ACRIS standards can be introduced for standardized information exchange with other systems and stakeholders.
The ACRIS data models for information exchange can be imported into SMARTUNIFIER Information Models and then mapped to data models for anything from low-level equipment to legacy systems, and other systems with standard or non-standard interfaces. This provides an ideal platform for migration to ACRIS standards as illustrated in the migration path diagram. SMARTUNIFIER instances can simultaneously connect old and new models and migration to standards can be achieved without interruption to the flow of data.
- Can be deployed on multiple platforms, on-premises, on the edge, in data centers, and in the cloud.
- Virtually unlimited scalability through fully decentralized architecture (Swarm) that can be centrally managed.
- Rapid real-time protocol conversion enables timely and reliable access to high-speed production data.
- Reusable and versioned interface models for similar equipment- or device types.
- Virtually unlimited amount of communication connections, protocols, and information models (multi-channel capability).
- Configurable mapping means connectivity coding is minimized.
- Development and deployment of connections can be completed in hours or days instead of weeks and months.
Visit our website to learn more about SMARTUNIFIER!