The University of Southampton

A team approach to cracking airport and communications problems

Published: 4 June 2007

Second-year Computer Science students David Askey, Julia Tomlinson, Alisdair Friis Jorgensen, Andrew Taylor, Heather Murray and Claire Pass made up the winning group in this year’s project competition.

John Hamshare of BAA had set the computer scientists the software task of obstacle visualization for Southampton Airport. This required managing and visualizing a database of the thousands of obstacles - such as trees, buildings, and motorway gantries – with the potential to infringe on safe flight paths. Four groups of computer scientists met and exceeded the project requirement in various ways, from faithful mimicking of the operational system to dynamic 3-D visualization.

The Electronics Group Design project was to design, build and test a system for testing different data encoding algorithms under the presence of noise betwen the transmitter and receiver. Teams were expected to design the transmiting and receiving circuitry as well as modules for injecting errors into the system and subsequently counting them. Of the 15 groups attempting the exercise three showed outstanding results, demonstrating complete end-to-end solutions.

Paul Fairbairn, in charge of University liaison at the IBM Hursley UK Research Laboratory, announced the best group of the year: computer scientists SEG10. Group members each received a cash prize, and will compete in the national IBM University Team Challenge at Hursley in September.

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