Positioning technology for Antwerp MSC PSA

Airobot, a Belgium-based innovation company developing new technologies for professional drone operations, has supplied a positioning solution for MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET) in Antwerp, Belgium, informs the company.

In 2016 MPET, formerly known as the MSC Home Terminal, moved its operations from the Delwaidedock on the right bank of the river Schelde to the Deurganckdock on the left bank, expanding its annual capacity up to 9 mln TEU.

“For this project, we were looking for a positioning solution that was compatible with the solution that has been in use on the terminal since 2008.” Says Douwe Witteveen, senior project manager at MPET. “We need to accurately know where every container is picked up and dropped off without interfering with the actions of the driver. Based on sensors in the vehicle, the GNSS unit must detect a pick-up or drop-off and provide a position to our system. Unfortunately, the receivers used previously were no longer available, so we needed to find someone who could make a new custom integration fast.”

MPET has selected Airobot, the company that develops and integrates collision avoidance, navigation and positioning systems.

“Airobot was selected by MPET to create a solution for them within a record time.” tells Jan Leyssens, Managing Director at Airobot. “We started discussions about the requirements in January and have delivered 100 units in less than 4 months’ time. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience integrating GNSS technology into our drone solutions, so we could act fast. We also listened to the people in the field to make sure the unit is easy to install and existing cable installations could be used.”

The SC-PSA-GNSS unit integrates the AsteRx-m GNSS receiver from Septentrio NV and uses the European EGNOS satellite navigation system to provide submeter accurate positions. The receiver has field-proven multipath mitigation technology on-board to cope with the many GNSS reflections caused by all the metal containers.  It also combines satellites from the American GPS and Russian GLONASS systems to provide a solution close to the quay cranes.

“We believed that the knowhow and expertise of the Airobot team could help us to get a solution fast, and they delivered what they promised,” says Douwe.

Julia Louppova:
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