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TowerLens 4.0 - Augmented Reality in Air Traffic Contol

TowerLens 4.0 successfully tested at Zurich Airport: With the help of this system, air traffic movements can be visualized in real time. This improves the situational awareness of air traffic controllers.

Resulting from student project works and bachelor theses, the TowerLens 4.0 was successfully tested for the first time on the observation deck of Zurich airport in fall 2023. The aim of the TowerLens 4.0 is to increase the level of safety by enhancing the situation awareness of air traffic controllers (ATCO) in the tower. To achieve this, students from the aviation program created a user-oriented concept to depict the relevant information in the correct way based on interviews with ATCOs. In another step the concept was implemented by IT students in the spring semester 2023.

The image shows how the TowerLens 4.0 depicts traffic information to the user. An Airbus A340 from Edelweiss is taking off from runway 16. The yellow label indicates that the aircraft can be contacted with the callsign „Edelweiss 24“ and that it has a speed of 153 knots (ground speed). As it is in the vicinity of an intersection where other aircraft can cross the runway, the corresponding area is marked in red. On the left side of the image an Airbus A320 from Swiss is visible, waiting for permission to cross the runway.

The research group for human machine interaction (Human Factors Engineering) aims to increase the intensity of work in this area.