Uninterruptible power supply, even in an external power outage
Ensuring the safety and reliability of civil and military flight operations at all times is a key component of skyguide’s mission and mandate. To do so, skyguide requires continuous round-the-clock power supplies for all its safety-relevant systems – even in the event of an outage of the external power network. This is ensured at skyguide through the company’s uninterruptible power supply (UPS) facility, which uses batteries and emergency generators to take over the provision of electrical power if the main external supply fails.
Tests successfully completed
As is the case with all safety-critical systems, skyguide maintains two examples of its UPS facility. Each of these was separately tested during two nights in April. The tests involve simulating the loss of the usual external power supply. The last test in the night of 13 to 14 April was conducted problem-free, and was concluded in the early morning as planned.
“We will be taking our findings from these tests and using them to further enhance the integrity of our power supply systems and thus also of our operations,” says Urs Lauener, skyguide’s Chief Operating Officer and a Member of the Executive Board. “I would like to offer my thanks to all our people who have been working for months to ensure the smooth and successful conducting of these tests, and to our various partners for their assistance and support.”
The tests have been preceded by extensive planning and preparation. Skyguide has taken a wide range of actions to ensure that the tests do not affect its ongoing air traffic management and monitoring operations at any time. These have included identifying and minimizing any possible risks, and ensuring the thorough briefing and preparation of all the personnel involved. Some 60 skyguide employees were on site for the first test night, together with 20 Swiss Air Force personnel.
High investments in technical infrastructure
The availability of the associated technical systems has a direct impact on the safety and the capacity of the operations of any air navigation services provider. At skyguide such availability is very high. To keep it so, the company makes substantial investments in renewing and further refining its technical infrastructure, including its uninterruptible power supply facilities. Skyguide further conducts regular tests of all its safety-relevant systems, to promptly identify and eliminate any weaknesses therein.