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Austro Control, based in Vienna, is one of Europe's leading Air Traffic Control (ATC) organizations. Made up of air navigation service providers, its key task is to maintain safe, punctual, efficient, and environmentally friendly air traffic. In 2019 alone, more than one million flight movements in Austrian airspace were handled by Austro Control.

Austrian ATC is Preparing for Network Demand Growth

In terms of aviation, Austria plays a crucial role in the European Union (EU) and internationally due to its geographical positioning. Long-term forecasts predict that air traffic in Europe is expected to grow significantly, naturally resulting in a higher demand for air navigation services. Due to this growing demand, Austro Control is committed to enhancing the competitiveness of the Austrian aviation sector, promoting sustainable infrastructure, and developing its foundations to ensure that traffic management remains safe and efficient.

With up to 3500 controlled flights in Austrian airspace on some days, often at altitudes of more than 10,000 meters, there is an extensive amount of painstaking, stressful work undertaken on the ground. From the moment that an aircraft's engines are started up, to the point it leaves Austrian airspace, managing traffic flows safely and efficiently is exhausting. Aided by state-of-the-art technology, Austro Control's air traffic controllers guide planes onto the right airspace and ensure that they maintain a safe proximity with each other.

ATC services require a reliable network to enable effective communication of ground and aerial control and ensure always-on connectivity between aircraft, control centers, and airports. Before take-off and during the flight, onboard pilots should be in contact with controllers in the airport's control tower. Network delays may impact the quality of contact between the air traffic controller and the pilot. Real-time data sharing from take-off to landing is crucial for safe air operations, and this requires optimal network quality and reliability.

Moreover, with the continued advancement of air traffic management technologies, it is safe to say that network requirements will continue to grow. As such, the ATC sector is experiencing higher bandwidth demands, forcing networks to work at higher speeds to deliver the best service possible and ensure air safety.

Despite all its efforts to improve efficiency, the aviation industry also has a duty to minimize its carbon footprint. In the words of Austro Control's corporate mission statement: "We are aware of our responsibility to the environment and are making an important contribution to reducing environmental loading by air traffic." For Austro Control, choosing a partner that offered long-term, environmentally friendly solutions was a must.

Vienna Airport

Optix OSN1800 OTN Platform: Technology for the Future of ATC

In response to growing network requirements, Austro Control planned to build a powerful Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) transmission network, connecting all of the main sites to cover key areas.

For ATC, each airport tower is required to provide multiple 10 GE services to connect existing facilities. The priority is to enhance the network to the best quality possible, without compromising safety and security.

Austro Control's Information Technology (IT) managers were looking for an experienced vendor that was competent in consulting, solution selection, and support. After careful consideration, they realized that the best results would come from Huawei, the leader in the optical transport network market. With its innovative Intelligent OptiX Network, Huawei leads the global optical industry with network solutions that offer the best performance available today.

Another factor that swayed the decision was Huawei's product openness. Offering products that were fully compatible with other vendors allowed Austro Control to implement solutions with ease.

During the initial analysis, Huawei verified requirements and then recommended a design for the new infrastructure. After a solution demonstration, it was clear to those responsible that Huawei's proposal would meet the desired network reliability and safety requirements. In the end, Austro Control chose Huawei's Multi-Service Optical Transport Network (MS-OTN) OSN 1800 OTN Platform to build the main site inter-connection, covering key areas.

The OptiX OSN 1800 OTN Platform supports mainstream 100G coherent technology, while the network ensures as little latency as possible. The solution also provides multiple 10 GE services to the client. The equipment is easy to deploy and fits 19-inch and 23-inch cabinets, all while offering high environmental suitability. Purpose-designed to deliver exceptional performance with low power consumption, the platform also boasts efficient and easy Operations and Maintenance (O&M).

Before implementation, Huawei offered a training session for Austro Control and its subcontractors. The training was a success, enabling the IT team to independently create the service and support Network Management System (NMS) operations. Huawei's team also ensured that the transition went smoothly with no connectivity interruptions.

Austro Control engineering services concluded that Huawei's WDM transmission technology would be reliable and easy to maintain, offering excellent scalability, stability, and a long life cycle.

Keeping the Airspace Safe with a Better Transmission Capacity

Huawei's continuous innovation and accumulated experience in the network field are the main reasons why Austro Control chose it as a partner. Huawei successfully provided a 100 Gbit/s high-speed transmission, low latency, highly reliable WDM network to help Austro Control transmit and manage their traffic data efficiently and safely. As a result, Austro Control has benefitted immensely from the new Optix OSN 1800 OTN Platform.

The new network has helped increase the speed of real-time information updates and supported the high-speed transfer of a massive amount of information and communication to and from the ground facilities.

"The new solution enables Austro Control to provide the transmission capacity necessary for the safe handling of air traffic at an optimum price and performance ratio," commented Manfred Nedoma, Team Manager of Network & Carrier Service at Austro Control.

Now, the IT team can easily control, monitor, and repair the network, using automated techniques that need minimum intervention. The Austro Control team has been impressed with the reliable quality and, in particular, pleasantly surprised by Huawei's comprehensive IT security and technical support. In addition, intelligent technology has helped ensure quick fault diagnosis to reduce the manual workload required.

The new Optix OSN1800 OTN Platform is one of the most advanced of its kind, and it has brought significant improvements to the company's main business processes. As an eco-friendly solution with an energy-saving design, Huawei and Austro Control demonstrate their firm commitment to the highest environmental standards. With the implementation of a new solution, Austro Control will easily be able to handle expected traffic growth in the future.

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