Currently, the MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET) in Antwerp, Belgium, is moving its operations from the Delwaidedock on the right bank of the river Schelde to the Deurganckdock on the left bank. In this context, this terminal is being expanded to a throughput capacity of 9 million TEUs annually. This will make it the single largest container terminal in Europe.

When fully moved and operational, PSA DGD / MPET Left Bank will feature a total of 41 quay cranes across 10 berths, 200 straddle carriers and a quay length of 3,550 metres.

“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 PSA 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.”

“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 know-how and expertise of the Airobot team could help us to get a solution fast, and they delivered what they promised” says Douwe. “Airobot wanted to provide a complete solution to MPET”, adds Jan,” and believes in working close with its customers to create added value with technology”

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