The AVITRACK project

Servicing activities detection for airport apron monitoring

Participants: Francois Bremond, Florent Fusier, Valery Valentin, Monique Thonnat.

AVITRACK was a IST-FP6 European project in collaboration with Silogic S.A. Toulouse (FR), University of Reading (UK), CCI Aeroport Toulouse Blagnac (France), Fedespace (France), Tekever LDA, Lisbon (Portugal), ARC Seibersdorf research GMBH, Wien (Austria), Technique Universities, Vienna (Austria), IKT (Norway) and Euro Inter (Toulouse France). This 2-year project was started in February 2004 and ended in March 2006. During this project, we have developed algorithms to recognize the servicing activities around parked aircrafts in an apron area monitored by eight cameras in Toulouse airport (France). Activities may be simple events involving one mobile object like the arrival or the departure of ground vehicles or complex scenarios like refueling or luggage loading.

Figure 1. Airport apron site in Toulouse.

The goal of the AVITRACK project was the recognition of recorded complex activities for airport apron monitoring.

Figure 2. Airport Apron Monitoring : outdoor scenes with complex interactions between humans, ground vehicles, and aircrafts.

We have modeled complex video events involving several vehicles and people operating around the vehicles interacting with each other. These events refer to activities containing several basic activities corresponding to the different steps of the whole operation. The complexity of video events can be illustrated by the detailed description of the ``Front Unloading Operation''. This operation consists of unloading the baggage containers of the aircraft through its front right door. The scenario model is complex and involves many physical objects, composite components, and temporal constraints.

Figure 3. Site observed by 8 cameras.

The system was able to recognize 21 basic video events, 8 video events involving the Ground Power Unit (GPU), 8 video events involving the Tanker, 3 video events involving the Aircraft, 3 video events involving the Tow Tractor, 3 video events involving the Conveyor, and 12 video events involving the Loader and the Transporter, so a total number of 58 video events. These video events and their complexity demonstrate both the system effectiveness and flexibility. Thanks to this project, we have shown that automatic video system can monitor an airport apron.

Figure 4. Parked aircraft monitoring in Toulouse: Unloading Front Operation (see mpg 6.6M) .