Autonomous security vehicle to patrol airport perimeter

August 1, 2018  - By
The airport's new autonomous ATV begins testing in August. (Photo: Edmonton International Airport)

The airport’s new autonomous ATV begins testing in August. (Photo: Edmonton International Airport)

An autonomous all-terrain vehicle (ATV) equipped with NovAtel Inc. technology will soon join the security fleet at the Edmonton International Airport in Alberta, Canada.

The ATV will be used to detect people and animals that breach the airport perimeter, as well as locate holes in the fence to alert the security team.

This is the only known autonomous ATV to be used for airport security and it will be used to monitor its 20-kilometer fence line on a narrow perimeter road, according to Hexagon, NovAtel’s parent company.

The unarmed vehicle is controlled remotely by humans and can also drive autonomously, incorporating machine-learning to perform its tasks.

The vehicle system includes navigation, path planning, obstacle avoidance, animal and human recognition, communication systems to airport security, geo-fencing, and situational awareness and analysis.

The autonomous ATV patrols will focus on the following:

  • Identifying damage to the chain-link fence and fence posts, verifying barbed wire is taut and undamaged, and detecting holes or gaps under the fence
  • Detecting human or animal activity
  • Searching for obstacles using lidar

“We would not have been able to navigate the vehicle on such a narrow road if we had not used NovAtel gear,” said Ken Brizel, CEO, ACAMP.

The autonomous security ATV was developed by the Alberta Centre for Advanced MNT (microprocessor and nanotechnology) Products (ACAMP).

The airport is a member of the Advanced Systems for Transportation Consortium established by ACAMP and supported by the Government of Alberta. ACAMP is a member of the Alberta Aerospace and Technology Centre at EIA. ACAMP and EIA were able to harness technologies developed by consortium members to construct and test the autonomous ATV security vehicle, readying it for regular use at EIA.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.