Gatwick Airport Modular ATC Data Centre

The Challenge –

Gatwick Airport were tasked with updating the Airports Air Traffic Control Systems and as such needed to keep the existing systems live, whilst installation and testing of the new systems progressed. There was no room in the existing Control Tower and any intrusive works in that area would create an unacceptable risk to existing flight operations. We were approached to see if our offsite modular concepts could be adapted to create an environment adjacent to the Control tower where the new systems could be safely installed and tested in parallel with the existing systems to mitigate any risks.

The Solution – 

Using our Modular systems, we were able to manufacture, test and commission a large facility offsite that carried everything required to support modern datacentre requirements. With the critical nature of the systems paramount in our thinking, all systems are duplicated for failover with back indication to a central control point. There is a raised computer floor with redundant cold aisle blown air cooling, along with fire and smoke detection which also includes back indication to the Airports main fire systems. Pre-cabling for the data racks, lighting and emergency lighting were all installed and tested off-site along with the automatic fire suppression systems. The unit and associated systems were designed to be split into two large pieces for road transport, it was fully assembled in our factory in Northampton and all systems installed, tested, commissioned and witnessed by the Client prior to delivery.

The Benefits –

Gatwick Airport received the unit ready for the critical systems to be installed less than seven days after its arrival on site. By utilising the off-site factory build approach, the quality of installation can be guaranteed to a much higher standard than that of a traditional design and build. The actual time required on site was under seven days, meaning that the cost savings and risks to the live operation were greatly reduced. This approach enabled the critical ATC systems to be installed in a remote facility away from but adjacent to existing live systems thus eliminating the risks to live operations.

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