At a glance

The SECAIR project focuses on the combination of localization and video technologies to monitor vehicles, objects or people. This system improves operational safety and security within large-scale infrastructures like airports. The collected location data capture entire situations on the ground to automatically detect and identify access rights, suspicious objects or near collisions.

A significant contribution is the Fraunhofer IIS technology to reliably determine the position of vehicles and people in real time on the airport apron under any weather conditions. To this end, various positioning methods and algorithms have been enhanced and fused to increase the robustness against multipath propagation.


90% of all aircraft accidents occur on the ground. Airport apron areas are bustling with a diverse fleet of vehicles on a multitude of roads. Baggage carts, tugs, passenger boarding stairs and tunnels have to be moved around and also the black-and-yellow ramp safety cars. The unknown location of one participant alone can easily lead to a collision, since aircrafts with their 400 tons of weight require an exceedingly long braking distance.

On top of that, the pilots’ visibility on what is happening on the ground is highly limited. A factor that puts people’s lives at risk and causes long passenger line-ups as well skyrocketing costs for airport operators and airlines since connecting times cannot be adhered to. Conventional safety systems do not offer a universal solution for the entire ramp area and are more expensive than SECAIR. Fraunhofer IIS develops a novel system that meets the stringent requirements of airport apron safety and positions itself as the go-to expert in the area localization.


SECAIR provides a comprehensive survey of the area of interest to reliably monitor and control the entire infrastructure in terms of safety and security.

Within the framework of SECAIR, Fraunhofer IIS provides for the seamless surveillance and tracking of people and objects. Closest attention is given to the combination of angle-of-arrival measurement and distance measurement. The data obtained from these combined technologies are compiled and evaluated via integrated communication chipset. The result is high-accuracy positioning verified by the overall system with video images. If a person appears on video that has not been captured by radio signal, the person is not authorized to access that zone. Only assigned and authorized staff members can be identified via radio tags.



Positioning at a major construction site with SECAIR
© MEV-Verlag, Germany
Positioning at a major construction site with SECAIR

The knowledge obtained from the newly developed algorithms and the adapted hardware modules has been integrated in the Fraunhofer IIS localization system SECAIR and validated as innovative prototype at the Faro airport in Portugal. The possible application fields of SECAIR are many and varied – the technology can not only be used at airports, but also in larger industrial parks, the energy supply industry or power plants. In the area logistics for instance, the precise positions of goods and staff at ports or in transshipment terminals can be determined despite dynamic multipath propagation effects. In the medical field, SECAIR can be used as positioning technology for novel assistance systems (AAL – ambient assisted living). Furthermore, transport with a traffic surveillance system in larger cities could be enhanced with a traffic guidance system.


With two decades of experience gained in numerous R&D projects, Fraunhofer IIS has obtained an in-depth knowledge of embedded localization and navigation. The key areas of expertise include system design, energy management as well as sensor fusion. The extensive equipment with a cutting-edge suite of simulation tools, specific test fields and the in-house test center ensure specific field test validation and coexistence tests with further radio systems. Fraunhofer IIS applies its expertise and competencies to joint research and development projects on a national and international level. With the introduction of novel innovative technologies we are your competent partner for localization solutions.