The University of Southampton

ECS students tackle airport obstacle course

Published: 1 June 2005

Computer science students at ECS have spent the last semester working on a project to help Southampton International Airport manage the many obstacles that might infringe on flight paths around the runway. The Airport needs to keep track of thousands of permanent obstacles such as buildings, motorway signs, lights, and trees, that might affect the safety of flight paths. Since standard industry systems are large and expensive, aimed at major airports, ECS students on the second-year Software Engineering Group Project were set the task of developing solutions. The results of all the group projects were presented to John Hamshare, Airside Compliance and Planning Manager at Southampton International Airport, and Chris Thomas of IBM UK’s Hursley Research Lab, which donated the Thinkpads to the ECS students. ‘The students have impressed me very much with their understanding of the problems associated with evaluating priority “obstacles”, and the quality of their products is outstanding,’ said John Hamshare. ‘Each group provided special features, all of which I found useful and interesting. ‘I have used an earlier version of the product to help me with safeguarding issues and expect to make use of it for some time’, he added. The winners, photographed with John Hamshare and Chris Thomas, were: Anthony Ambrus; Donna Belsey; Paul Brown; and Sze Lee, and they will now go forward to the Thinkpad Challenge finals in September. The students were led by the Course Team--Mike Poppleton, Bob Walters and Martin Szomszor.

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